Nets owner still looking to sell team… eventually

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You can be sure that the $2.2 billion price tag for the sale of the Houston Rockets had a number of other NBA owners thinking “maybe I should look into selling.”

Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov was already considering selling a controlling interest in the Nets. He still is up for it, but he might want to do it in pieces over time, according to a report from Josh Kosman of the New York Post.

The Russian billionaire, unable to sell a minority stake in the money-losing NBA franchise, now plans to off-load a controlling stake in the team, two sources close to the situation told The Post.

However, Prokhorov is hoping to sell the Nets in a two-part process, the sources said. First, the 52-year-old will look to sell a minority piece of the team — but give the buyer the right to buy the entire team in a short period of time — say three years, the sources said.

“There will be a new owner in the next few years,” one of the sources said.

The process of talking to buyers is on hold while the Nets negotiate a new, more favorable lease with the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn.

There are buyers interested in NBA teams, even for a couple of billion. The Post has reported that Alibaba Executive Vice Chairman Joe Tsai is interested, and the NBA would welcome an owner from China, but his company denies it. There are also plenty of hedge fund managers and the line in New York who would be interested. Prokhorov will find a buyer.

Who he will find that wants to buy on his “lease to own” two-step process is another question.