N.Y. developer said to be top bidder

Music rap performer Jay-Z has retained the New York City investment banking firm of Andrew, Alexander,Wise and Co. to explore the possibility of making a bid to purchase the New Jersey Nets, sources told ESPN.

The YankeeNets holding company, which runs the franchise, put it up for auction in September and is now receiving bids.

A spokesman for Jay-Z declined comment to ESPN.

The Newark Star Ledger reported last week that New York developer Bruce Ratner had emerged as the high bidder for the Nets with an offer of $275 million.