Earlier Thursday, news broke of Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov’s ongoing talks with the Guggenheim Sports and Entertainment Assets group about a possible sale of part of the team and the Barclays Center. Now, it looks like it will be something more than that.
While the original NetsDaily report indicated that Prokhorov would keep a controlling stake in the team, Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix now says that’s not the case.
Multiple sources briefed on Nets/Guggenheim talks believe it will eventually become a straight sale. Prokhorov actively looking to cash out.
— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) October 2, 2014
Since buying the Nets in 2010, Prokhorov hasn’t exactly been the most hands-on owner. Mostly, he’s given GM Billy King free reign to make trades and sign players, with the directive that they stay competitive now. From the start, it’s clear that Prokhorov has viewed the Nets as a business investment. And with the Los Angeles Clippers selling for $2 billion to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer earlier this year, there’s no better time than now for Prokhorov, who paid $200 million for the Nets four years ago, to get a return on that investment. The Guggenheim group, of course, are best-known as the owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and although NBA legend Magic Johnson is a minority investor in that team, he doesn’t appear to be involved in the Nets sale.
Source is unaware of any role for Magic Johnson in combination of Nets and Dodgers/Guggenheim assets. He is minority investor in Dodgers. — NetsDaily.com (@NetsDaily) October 2, 2014
This will be a fascinating situation to keep an eye on over the next few months. With the Clippers’ record-breaking sale and the exploding value of NBA franchises ahead of the forthcoming TV rights deal, the Nets may not be the last team to be sold for a high price.