6:49pm: Prokhorov released a statement saying he has “no interest in selling the team,” tweets Fred Kerber of The New York Post, while a league source has confirmed to Mike Mazzeo of ESPNNewYork.com that Prokhorov is indeed open to listening to offers. Prokhorov’s statement doesn’t deny the report that he has fielded offers for the team.
4:05pm: In the wake of Steve Ballmer’s agreement to buy the Clippers for an astronomical $2 billion, Brooklyn owner Mikhail Prokhorov has been listening to offers from potential buyers interested in purchasing the Nets, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. A league source tells Wojnarowski that Prokhorov hasn’t indicated a strong desire or even willingness to sell, but adds that the Russian billionaire is curious to see what the going rate for his team and the Barclays Center might be.
Wojnarowski notes that Prokhorov, who owns 80 percent of the Nets and 40 percent of the Barclays Center, purchased his shares of the team and arena just five years ago for $223MM. Although Wojnarowski doesn’t specify any valuations that potential investors have thrown out for the Nets, the stake in the team and the arena is now likely far more expensive than the sum Prokhorov purchased it for, given the price tags attached to the Clippers and other franchises changing hands of late.
Prokhorov hasn’t been afraid to dole out cash for his team during his tenure as owner. The Nets stand to pay about $190MM combined in player salaries and luxury taxes for the 2013/14 season, an all-time league high.