Billionaire Joseph Tsai is nearing a deal to purchase 51% of the Nets for a record $2.35 billion, according to the New York Post.
Tsai, the co-founder of the e-commerce company Alibaba, already owns 49% of the team, which he purchased for $1 billion last year. He locked in the right to buy the remaining 51% of the Nets before the 2021-22 season for an additional $1.35 billion from Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov. By agreeing to the deal, Tsai will exercise his right to purchase the rest of the team two seasons early, reports the Post.
The Nets declined to comment on the purchase to the newspaper.
Tsai's $2.35 billion purchase will be the highest price ever paid for a sports franchise. Hedge fund owner David Tepper purchased the Carolina Panthers for $2.2 billion last year, and Tilman Fertitta bought the Houston Rockets for $2.2 billion in 2017.
Last season, the Nets finished with a 42–40 record but landed two of the biggest free agents in the summer. Kevin Durant signed a four-year, $164 million deal with Brooklyn, while Kyrie Irving inked a four-year, $141 million deal.