Mikhail Prokhorov is in talks with multiple suitors to sell the Brooklyn Nets — and he’s pushing for an eye-popping price tag. The Russian billionaire is demanding a valuation of around $2 billion for his money-losing NBA team — near the record-setting $2.2 billion price that the Houston Rockets fetched earlier this month, sources told The Post. In recent days, prospective bidders have been pushing Prokorov to sell control of the team immediately, versus his recent pitch to sell an initial minority stake along with the right to take control in three years, insiders said. “They’re asking, but I don’t think he’s giving in,” one source close to the talks said of Prokhorov. Insiders speculate the shrewd Russian may be using the timing of a control change as a bargaining chip as talks enter the final stages. A deal — which wouldn’t include the Barclays Center arena that the Nets call home — could be announced in the coming days or weeks, sources said. Prospective bidders are said to include at least two New York financial titans, as well as a Texas-based buyer group that lost the Houston Rockets auction to billionaire Tilman Fertitta. Still another bidding group is connected to Dave Checketts, the former president of the New York Knicks and Madison Square Garden, two sources said. Checketts is friendly with Joe Tsai, the No. 2 exec at Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, who sources told The Post has expressed interest in buying the Nets. Recently, Checketts and Tsai were in talks about acquiring an NBA team, according to one source, although the current status of those discussions isn’t clear. An Alibaba spokeswoman said last week that Tsai is not pursuing the Brooklyn Nets. The identity of the Texas-based bidders couldn’t be learned, but Houston-based retail tycoon Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale told the Houston Chronicle this summer he was interested in buying the Rockets — as did former Rockets center Dikembe Mutombo. The NBA only allows owners to borrow $250 million against their team, so a buyer would need to come up with at least $1.75 billion in cash to acquire the Nets.
Brooklyn Nets owner eyes outrageous price tag in sale
New York Post | Oct 16