Despite repeated denials from team owner Mikhail Prokhorov, reports continue to surface that he’s put the Brooklyn Nets on the market.

Prokhorov bought the Nets for $220 million back in 2010, and he brushed off losing some $144 million in operating costs last season.

Brooklyn’s hoops team and its lucrative arena are likely to fetch an astounding amount of money. (The Nets say that a sale is not imminent.)

Per Bloomberg:

Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov retained Evercore Partners (EVR) to sell the National Basketball Association team he bought in 2010, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter.

 

Prokhorov, 49, the first foreign owner of an NBA team, holds 80 percent of the club and 45 percent of the Barclays Center, its 2 1/2-year-old arena which next season will house hockey’s New York Islanders. Only the team is for sale, the people said.

 

Because of their home in the No. 1 U.S. media market, and the infrequency with which marquee franchises become available, the Nets might fetch more than the record $2 billion former Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer paid for the Los Angeles Clippers in a frenzied auction sparked by racist comments made by former owner Donald Sterling, valuations expert Peter Schwartz said. […] “The fever of a trophy asset goes beyond financial analysis — as we saw in Los Angeles,” Schwartz said.