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Nets Owner Plans To Reel In Spending

Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov has agreed to curb his record-setting spending on the team going forward in an effort to enhance the value of the club as minority owners seek to sell a 20% share of the franchise, Josh Kosman of the New York Post reports. Prokhorov plans on turning the Nets into a non-taxpaying team by 2015/16 as he seeks a valuation of $1 billion for the club.

A recent report indicated that Prokhorov was listening to offers for his controlling interest, though his intent was apparently to find out just what he could get for it rather than actually selling it. The part of the team that is up for grab is that owned by real estate developer Bruce Ratner’s Forest City Enterprises, according to Kosman, who echoes a report from last month.

The $1 billion valuation that both Prokhorov and Ratner’s company are apparently seeking is just half of what former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer agreed to pay for the Clippers, but the difference is that the Nets are “far from” profitable, unlike the Clippers, Kosman writes. The Nets are predicting a profit of $50MM for 2016/17, according to Kosman.

Brooklyn’s payroll came to nearly $103MM this season, and with luxury tax included, the outlay is in the range of $190MM. The team has more than $45,937,663 already on the books for 2015/16, the year it aims to get out of the tax, not counting a more than $16.7MM player option for Brook Lopez. It’ll be difficult for Prokhorov to achieve his cost-cutting goal, and a source expressed skepticism to Kosman that Prokhorov will stick to his austerity plan.

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