Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez have spent the past six months raising money to fund their purchase of the Minnesota Timberwolves with a Dec. 31 deadline to exercise an option to buy another 20 percent of the franchise from Glen Taylor.

The deadline is the first of three pre-priced call options in a unique layaway deal approved by the NBA last July. 

Rodriguez and Lore have spoken with private equity firms, family offices and individual investors about coming in at higher price than the $1.5 billion valuation that they negotiated last year.

If exercised, the group has 60 to 90 days to close on that payment.

The third option, a 40% stake that would give the pair a majority of the franchise, must be exercised before the end of 2023. The option for the final 20% must be exercised before Dec. 31, 2024.

Sportico currently values the franchise at $1.7 billion, which is the third lowest in the NBA. The Phoenix Suns recently sold at a $4 billion valuation. 

Lore and Rodriguez have discussed significantly higher valuations in their talks with investors, according to people familiar with those talks, including numbers higher than $2 billion.