EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Mikhail Prokhorov has not let cost get in the way of realizing his dream of winning an NBA championship. But according to a report, the Nets' owner is considering selling the team.
SI.com tweeted Thursday that the Russian billionaire is actively looking to capitalize on a market in which the Los Angeles Clippers sold for $2 billion in August and the Milwaukee Bucks went for $550 million in April.
Yahoo Sports reported earlier yesterday that high-level NBA executives believe Prokhorov will sell sooner rather than later.
Nets general manager Billy King declined to comment after practice yesterday. A spokeswoman for Prokhorov did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
In June, Prokhorov denied reports that he was interested in selling the team.
He is in the midst of ongoing discussions to potentially combine assets with the group that co-owns the Los Angeles Dodgers with Magic Johnson, but not to sell the team, according to NetsDaily.com.
Guggenheim Sports and Entertainment president Todd Boehly reportedly met this week with Prokhorov, Nets CEO Brett Yormark and Forest City Ratner executive chairman Bruce Ratner in Moscow.
But according to that report, Prokhorov's status within the Nets' hierarchy won't change. Prokhorov, who owns 85 percent of the Nets and 45 percent of Barclays Center, would remain as "governor and controlling owner" for the "foreseeable future." The report said in any potential transaction, the Nets would be valued at $1.7 billion and Barclays Center would carry a value of $1.1 billion.
Prokhorov purchased the Nets and bought a controlling interest in the arena in 2010 for $223 million, storming on to the scene with his bold predictions and promise to quickly bring a championship to a franchise that's had little success outside of back-to-back trips to the NBA Finals in 2002-03.
He gave King the green light to make expensive acquisitions to help spark interest after the team's move from New Jersey to Brooklyn, most notably the trades that landed Joe Johnson in 2012 and Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce in 2013.
The Nets boasted a league-record bill of nearly $200 million in salary and luxury taxes a season ago but, for a variety of reasons, never came close to resembling a championship team under first-year coach Jason Kidd.
Cutting payroll, one of their goals this past offseason, was one of the reasons they didn't re-sign Pierce.
Deron Williams, who inked a five-year, $99-million max contract in 2012, had nothing but praise for Prokhorov and Nets ownership.
"It's been great,'' Williams said. "You don't see Mr. Prokhorov much, but when we do, it's been great. He's been great for this organization. I don't know what's going on as far as that's concerned, but my job as a player is to come out and play."