The Brooklyn Nets have quietly been on the market for a while now, or at least a portion of them. Remember Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov bought the team as much to be part of the Brooklyn Yards real estate development as much as anything, the team is just a pawn in that chess match.
Now it appears he may have a potential buyer/partner in Los Angeles Dodgers ownership, Guggenheim Sports and Entertainment Assets. Yes, the group with Magic Johnson as its face. Yes, the owners of that other team that moved out of Brooklyn back in the day. That group has been looking to expand its sports portfolio in recent months.
The ownership of the Brooklyn Nets is in “ongoing discussions” with Guggenheim Sports and Entertainment Assets, owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers, on a “combination of assets.” Mikhail Prokhorov would remain in control of the Nets, say sources close to the discussions.
In the discussions, the team is being valued at $1.7 billion and the arena at $1.1 billion, said both sources. There is no agreement yet, nor a deadline for a conclusion of the discussions. The next step would be an agreement in principle followed by a closing.
The discussions are continuing, said one source. A second source says that Guggenheim’s president, Todd Boehly, met in Moscow earlier this week with Prokhorov, minority owner Bruce Ratner, and CEO Brett Yormark.
Apparently the idea is to keep Prokhorov and his team running the Nets, although you’d have to think Magic Johnson is going to want to jump into those waters too (and Nets fans, that is not a good thing). Basically the Nets have an actual oligarch owning the team and would bring in the American equivalent of that with this group.
Both sides probably see a lot of potential real estate moves around the home stadiums of said teams.
The Guggenheim group and Prokhorov have this in common: They are willing to spend. The Dodgers are the highest payroll team in baseball ($235.3 million), the Nets will again be the highest in the NBA at $95.8 million (that after a summer of curbing their spending).
This may or may not pan out, deals fall apart, but it sounds like things are moving along. It would be an interesting pairing in the NBA.