It’s Not About Money, It’s About Sending a Message: Mikhail Prokhorov’s Money Torching Quest for an NBA Championship

Mikhail Prokhorov has clearly shown that he doesn’t care one iota about spending money as an NBA owner. In the time since he purchased the Nets franchise, he has traded for the albatross contracts of Gerald Wallace and Joe Johnson, then earlier this summer he added Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Jason Terry for basically a bunch of draft picks and useless players. Yesterday came word that the Nets have convinced stat-stuffing swingman and defensive savant Andrei Kirilenko to sign for merely $3.1 million a year, using the luxury taxpayer’s mini midlevel exception, after he earlier opted out of a $10 million final year with the Minnesota Timberwolves. As a result of the signing, the Nets’ owner will be paying over $186 million for the Nets roster for JUST THIS YEAR. (h/t: Devin @ TheBrooklynGame for the figures.)

As noted above, the Nets have been no stranger to spending since Prokhorov took over, but this is something else entirely. With this summer’s moves, the Proker is showing the rest of the league that money simply does not matter to him at all. He’s become the NBA’s rogue, chaotic force, hell bent on sending a message that he will build a winner, no matter the cost.

The Nets now have a starting five featuring 2 future Hall of Famers and rounded out with All Stars at every other position. Their bench now looks similarly stacked. There’s backcourt scoring and floor stretching in Jason Terry. Kirilenko’s great defense and all around solid play everywhere else. Reggie Evans’s ability to hit the glass. Andray Blatche’s post scoring and occasionally solid defense. Plus, capable point guard play holding it all together from Shaun Livingston. The whole bench has roles that fit together reasonably well with solid contributors.

The Nets have built a deep roster that should allow them to rest the old dudes from Boston and keep them fresh for what should be a deep playoff run. If Jason Kidd proves up to the task of managing the egos and crafting an offense that emphasizes ball movement, as he’s promised, the Nets could be incredibly dangerous. It’s all because Mikhail Prokhorov is determined to show the rest of the NBA that this league deserves a better class of owner and he’s gonna give it to them.

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