Following up on a NetsDaily exclusive that Mikhail Prokhorov was in discussions with the Guggenheim partners, owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers, to "combine assets" in an attempt to sell shares in the Brooklyn Nets, while still maintaining majority ownership in the team.
Now, however, ESPN.com is reporting that Prokhorov has had a conversation with at least one party in which he told them he'd be 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 Arena at $1.1 billion. At that price, one source said, it's unlikely that a single buyer would be willing to buy the team in entirety -- especially given the losses that the team has 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.
NetsDaily was told earlier that the value of the team was set at $1.7 billion and the Barclays Center at $1.1 billion for the purpose of the Guggenheim discussions. The discussions with Guggenheim, according to multiple sources, took place Monday in Moscow and included Prokhorov, Bruce Ratner, Brett Yormark and Boehly, indicating a level of seriousness.
ESPN is also reporting that Guggenheim CEO Mark Walter has not looked at the Nets financials, though he did praise the franchise and say that, like with any proposal, he would be "happy" to look at the financials, were they made available to him.
They also note the $2 billion price Steve Ballmer paid for the Los Angeles Clippers and the $144 million in basketball-related operating costs this past season as two reasons why Prokhorov may be willing to listen to offers.
We will continue to update this story as it develops.