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Report: With Clippers fetching $2 billion, Nets owner Prokhorov listening to offers. Doubt he’s alone.

Jun 14, 2014, 7:16 PM EST

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After the Milwaukee Bucks sold for $550 million, then weeks later former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer agreed to buy the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion, 29 other NBA owners got a big smile on their face. The rich are getting richer.

With the size of those numbers more than a few might put some feelers out in market — you don’t get rich enough to own an NBA team not thinking about how to turn a profit on your investments, and there’s a lot of profit in the NBA right now. One of those guys looking around is Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov, reports Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports.

In the wake of the Los Angeles Clippers selling for a league-record $2 billion, Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov has been open to overtures from potential buyers for the Brooklyn Nets, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

“Just listening so far,” a league official with direct knowledge told Yahoo Sports. “They haven’t indicated a desire or willingness to sell. …Nothing was initiated by [Prokhorov].”

If the Clippers are worth $2 billion, the Nets should be worth at least that much.

Prokhorov is worth $11 billion, according to Forbes Magazine. Prokhorov purchased his share of the Nets for $223 million (he owns 80 percent of the team), but since then he has moved the team to the news and more profitable Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn (he owns 45 percent of that also). Which is in the nation’s largest media market. The team’s value has gone up.

Enough that the Russian oligarch might sell?

Who knows? But you can be sure he’s not the only one listening to offers right now. That’s a lot of scratch, even to already rich guys.

  1. motobus - Jun 14, 2014 at 7:21 PM

    If the NBA can force Sterling to sell over a phone call, imagine what they might do with Porkhorov if relations with Russia sour even more.

    • tomshoe - Jun 15, 2014 at 6:54 AM

      I’d sell my team too if my bum GM has me paying $100 Million in luxury tax every year for an old man roster with no chance of winning a title.

      Just because Prokhorov is rich, doesn’t mean he’ll let you throw it away.

    • Kevin S. - Jun 15, 2014 at 7:07 AM

      Why would souring relations matter? You do know Prokhorov ran for office with the opposition party, right?

  2. adoombray - Jun 14, 2014 at 7:27 PM

    Pierce will be 37 next fall, Garnett 38 and Johnson 33, and Deron Williams is an unmitigated disaster with 63 million left on his contract.

    You have to figure that the complete and utterly broken payroll for the next few years and the diminished liklihood of that team competing for some time to come wacks quite a few bucks off the price. It’s NYC, if the team sucks, people have better things to do. Prok got what he wanted with that shining symbol of Gentrification and is set for life on the buildings profits alone, but that team is going nowhere, unlike the Clippers, who are a perennial playoff team at least, and probably a title contender once Blake Griffin doesn’t have to play against Tim Duncan…

  3. sportsfan18 - Jun 14, 2014 at 7:29 PM

    Just because something sells for a certain amount does not mean it’s worth that amount.

    This Russian owner is worth multiple billions…

    He talked about winning a championship with the NETS and now he wants to cut bait?

    Over a couple of billion? When he’s worth $10.9 BILLION and it has declined DOWN to this sad, lowly little number.

    He does not NEED the money. I guess he WANTS the money though… MORE than a championship…

    • asimonetti88 - Jun 14, 2014 at 8:57 PM

      Imagine if the Nets were only worth half the Clippers (a laughable notion), then he would make over 5x on what he paid for the team. Hard to turn that down. Like the article says, you don’t become a multibillionaire without making smart business decisions.

      • adoombray - Jun 14, 2014 at 11:23 PM

        Ya but at the same time the Nets were as much a vanity purchase as anything else. Prokhorov owns half the natural resources in Russia, and he is an avid sports guy there. At one time, he financially supported CSKA Moscow’s basketball, hockey and football clubs, and is a member of the Supreme Council of the Sport Russia organization. He serves as president of the Russian Biathlon Union. Sports are his playthings and I can’t imagine him paying 180 million in salary last season like it was nothing and then turn around and cash out.

      • borderline1988 - Jun 15, 2014 at 10:34 AM

        “Supreme Council of the Sport Russia Organization”

        Sounds like something out of Waddiya.

    • beagle11 - Jun 15, 2014 at 9:31 AM

      False. Something is exactly worth what it sells for.

  4. stadix093 - Jun 14, 2014 at 7:50 PM

    I don’t want to hear a single owner complain about losing money and a lockout during the next CBA talks. They are obviously doing okay.

  5. papichulo55 - Jun 14, 2014 at 8:09 PM

    Just a matter of time before all of the sideline money decides to try to start a new league.

  6. tampajoey - Jun 14, 2014 at 10:02 PM

    With Sterling’s attorneys and Private Investigators digging up skeletons in the other owner’s closets they will all end up having to sell. Everyone of them has made a racial slur at one point in their life in a private conversation. Now all their mistresses and disgruntled employees will be coming out spilling the dirt on every NBA team owner. Not one of them is sleeping easy tonight. Hypocrites.

    • mackcarrington - Jun 15, 2014 at 1:48 AM

      Yeah, but how many of them have hard, cold proof that they said anything? You think they all have audio tapes floating around? You think they’ve written this stuff down? Nobody willingly talks to PI’s unless they really have it in for someone. Unless a PI steals something from someone, all they have access to is public records that may or may not have any incriminating evidence.

  7. eugenesaxe1 - Jun 14, 2014 at 10:46 PM

    The Nyets are one of the very few teams that could get Clippers-like prices.
    Coincidentally, both NYC teams are atop that list, since both would presumably include ownership of their respective arenas.
    The Lakers could, because LA and Lakers.
    The Bulls might, because Chicago.

  8. rajbais - Jun 14, 2014 at 10:58 PM

    The Clippers were never worth $2 billion Ballmer was desperate.

    Look at what Ballmer could never get.

  9. sumkat - Jun 14, 2014 at 11:43 PM

    Nets, Sixers, Wolves, there a few a few teams that may have “open to offers” signs hanging on them after that 2 Billion price tag. Basically any team that not owned by “basketball guys” or a family thing (only one I can think of in the NBA off the top of my head is LAL)
    Can’t say that I blame them, but the NBA has to be careful here. How many guys are going to be willing to buy a team, at a price that makes sure they NEVER make a profit. I mean, if you make 50 million in profit each year (no happening), it would still take you 40 years to break even. So you have to find a group that can afford to give up 2 billion, and still feel like they can take a loss, or make a slight profit each season

  10. campcouch - Jun 15, 2014 at 12:00 AM

    His purchase of the Nets was a bad move that may turn out to be a windfall. Being a billionaire means you like money and losing it isn’t an option that’s agreeable. All of the cash he’s spent on the purchase,contracts,relocation,re-merchandising and investing in that arena and all he’s got to show is an aging roster,overpaid players and two 40+ win season in the East. Sell now why the suckers are out there!

  11. footballer4ever - Jun 15, 2014 at 1:01 AM

    i like basketball, but not to say i am an NBA fanatic either. Clippers selling at 2 billion is a joke and watch out this ballooned price tags does not end up being a equivalent to the the real-state market collapse in the future.

  12. madashell2014 - Jun 15, 2014 at 8:45 AM

    The NBA is not forcing Sterling to sell just over a phone call, they are forcing him to sell because of the damage that was done to the team because of the information thatTMZ leaked…. No sponcers, no players, and if no sponcers, no players, NO FANS!! Get your information straight people! And yes, Steve Ballmer knows exactly what he’s doing. You don’t get to be one of the richest men in the world by not making smart decisions. ( idiots….)

    • bucs4redskinsname - Jun 15, 2014 at 9:50 AM

      So, the guy that can’t spell “sponsors” is calling other people idiots?

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