- Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov told Bloomberg he expects the team to hit a franchise record for revenue next season thanks to the free agency additions of all-stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
- The Nets officially announced the signings on Monday, and the combined contracts for the two players are worth $305 million.
- The Nets signed Durant after the New York Knicks refused to offer him a max contract with $164 million, citing uncertainty around his recent Achilles injury.
- The Knicks targeted Irving during free agency, but he opted to join the crosstown Nets.
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The Brooklyn Nets’ decision to splash more than $300 million for just two players has it on course to set a new revenue record.
That’s what billionaire owner Mikhail Prokhorov told Bloomberg on Tuesday, citing the immense windfall the team expects to enjoy after signing all-world superstars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
"We were already in the midst of one of the best offseasons we’ve had since the team arrived in Brooklyn," Prokhorov said in an email to Bloomberg’s Eben Novy-Williams. "With our recent signings, our expectation is that we will surpass our highest revenue marks in franchise history."
The reasoning is simple: The addition of high-profile players like Durant and Irving will likely lead to more ticket and merchandise sales, and corporate sponsorships.
For context, the Nets pulled in $290 million in revenue last year, up from $273 million the prior year, according to estimates from Forbes magazine.
If the team does improve its revenue, it could entice Joe Tsai — the executive vice president of Alibaba and owner of a 49% stake in the Nets — to exercise his option to purchase a controlling stake in the team by 2021, according to Bloomberg.
Record sales would come at a time of struggle and uncertainty for the Nets’ crosstown rivals, the New York Knicks. The Knicks’ failure to sign Irving, decision to not make a max offer to Durant, and inability to acquire any high-profile free agents shaved $200 million off of Madison Square Garden’s market value in early July.
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