News owner Mikhail Prokhorov will sell a 49 percent minority stake in the franchise to Alibaba co-founder Joseph Tsai with an option for Prokhorov to sell controlling interest in a few years, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe.
Prokhorov will remain principal owner for an additional four years, according to ESPN, but is reportedly expected to sell his majority stake if and when the option is executed.
Tsai, who according to Forbes is Alibaba Group's vice chairman and ranks as its No. 2 individual shareholder, would not oversee basketball or business operations as a minority owner, however would plan to connect his ties with Alibaba Group and Hong Kong into opportunities for the Nets, according to ESPN.
The deal is based upon a $2.3 billion valuation of the team, according to ESPN. In July, Forbes ranked the Nets as the No. 47 richest sports franchise (No. 7 NBA team) in the world at $1.8 billion with a 6 percent increase from last year.
In September, the Rockets sold the team to Houston billionaire Tilma Fertitta for $2.2 billion, a league record, according to NBA.com.
The deal between Prokhorov and Tsai does not include the acquisition of Barclays Center, according to ESPN, and the Nets are reportedly expected to negotiate a longer lease at the arena in the future.
Prokhorov, 52, bought an 80 percent controlling stake of the Nets in May 2010 (along with a 45 percent stake in Barclays Center) and moved the franchise to Brooklyn in 2012. In 2015, he acquired the entire franchise at a $1.7 billion valuation.
Tsai, 53, has a net worth of $8.8 billion and is ranked the No. 31 richest person in tech and the No. 250 billionaire in the world, according to Forbes.
Alibaba Group reported revenue of $14.7 billion in March 2017, according to Bloomberg.