Report: Brookyln Nets for sale by owner Mikhail Prokhorov

The Brooklyn Nets are reportedly being put up for sale by principal owner Mikhail​ Prokhorov.
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The Brooklyn Nets are being put up for sale by principal owner Mikhail​ Prokhorov, reports Bloomberg News. ESPN also reports that the team is for sale.

Prokhorov, who owns 80 percent of the team and has a 45 percent stake in the Barclays Center, has hired the firm Evercore Partners to sell the team, according to Bloomberg.

The team has denied the report, according to ESPN's Chris Broussard. A spokesman for Prokhorov told SB Nation's Nets Daily that there is "nothing imminent" in terms of selling a stake in the team, and one league official told Yahoo Sports that the team is "just listening so far." 

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Bleacher Report's Howard Beck reports that the state of the Russian economy is "a driving factor" for a potential sale. The value of Russia's currency, the ruble, has plummeted in recent months, largely because of decreasing oil prices. 

Forbes estimated in January 2014 that the team was worth $780 million, the fifth-highest value in the NBA. Valuations expert Peter Schwartz told Bloomberg Brooklyn is worth about $1.3 billion.

Over the summer, it was reported that Prokhorov was fielding offers to buy the Nets, and in October he was reportedly in talks with the Los Angeles Dodgers' ownership over a combination of assets.

A month later, Prokhorov told NBA commissioner Adam Silver that he did not plan to give up control of the team, but that he was open to listening to offers to sell a minority share of the team.

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Prokhorov bought the Nets in 2010 for $223 million. A Grantland report from last year said the Nets' basketball operations department lost $144 million last season, losses that Prokhorov has minimized. 

In May, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer bought the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion. 

- Molly Geary