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Mikhail Prokhorov might sell the Nets

Mikhail Prokhorov might sell the Nets

Posted by Liliana Castaño on October 03, 2014

Brooklyn Nets ownership has quietly been gauging interest among investors for months.

That interest has picked up recently, and sources tell ESPN.com that Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov has expressed to at least one interested party that he is willing to give up majority control for the right price.

A source with knowledge of the financial situation says the asking price values the Nets franchise at $1.2 billion and Barclays Center, their home, at $1.1 billion. At that price, one source said, it's unlikely that a single buyer would be willing to purchase the team in its entirety -- especially given the losses that the Nets have shown.

Sources confirmed that the Nets have had discussions recently with Guggenheim Partners. A source confirmed to ESPNNewYork.com that Prokhorov recently met with Guggenheim executive and Los Angeles Dodgers minority owner Todd Boehly in Russia. According to a report by NetsDaily.com, the two sides discussed a "combination of assets" with Prokhorov remaining in control of the Nets and Bruce Ratner maintaining control of Barclays.

The seriousness of those talks remain unclear. But one thing that is clear is that any transaction between the two sides would not involve control of the Dodgers, who are owned by Guggenheim Baseball Management.

Dodgers Chairman and Guggenheim CEO Mark Walter told ESPN.com: "I am the controlling owner of the Dodgers and I have no intention of selling the Dodgers or moving them into a new ownership group."

Walter acknowledged that he had not seen the Nets financials but "they are a terrific franchise and I would be happy to look at their information and any proposal anyone wanted to make to me -- as I would with any proposal."

After the Los Angeles Clippers were purchased by Steve Ballmer for $2 billion over the summer, Prokhorov gauged interest in the Nets franchise and was open to listening to potential buyers, despite the owner saying through a spokesman that he had no interest in selling the team.

Prokhorov's tenure as owner has been defined by his incredible willingness to spend a fortune to win, but sources say the Russian hasn't been thrilled with the team's financial losses.

The Nets lost $144 million in basketball-related business in 2013-14 -- $131 million more than the next highest team -- as reported by Grantland.com.

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