The Nets are still owned by Mikhail Prokhorov, but according to ESPN he just a sold massive 49 percent stake to Alibaba co-founder Joseph Tsai. The sale comes with an expectation that Prokhorov will give up his majority stake in the the next four years. The franchise is valued at $2.3 billion.
Joseph Tsai, the executive vice chairman and co-founder of Chinese e-commerce goliath Alibaba, has reached an agreement in principle to purchase a 49 percent minority stake in the Brooklyn Nets that includes the option to acquire controlling interest of the NBA franchise in several years, league sources told ESPN.
The purchase price will be based upon a $2.3 billion valuation of the team, league sources said.
Mikhail Prokhorov will remain principal and operating owner of the Nets for an additional four years, with a presumption that he will sell his majority stake upon the triggering of Tsai's option, league sources said.
Rumors of a Nets sale have been circulating since the Rockets announced they were for sale in July. Eventually, the Rockets were , which could make the Prokhrov's sale the highest ever for an NBA team if it reaches full value.
These sales are largely an effect of the massive TV deal the NBA signed in 2014. The $24 billion deal left teams with more money than ever and some owners have used this opportunity as a chance to cash out on their investments. With premium teams like the Nets and Rocket selling for so much, it's interesting to think how much this will spill over to some of the less valued franchises.
For now, this sale should have no effect on the Nets' basketball operations. Prokhorov will maintain controlling interests until he gives up his majority stake, which makes this nothing more than a business deal for now. With the Nets appearing to be on the rise, Tsai might be walking into a winning franchise in four years.