Bill Simmons’ idiot’s guide to Russian Mark Cuban

I missed this column over the weekend, but it’s a pretty good read for those interested in the Nets’ new owner, Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov. Here is Simmons’ prediction for Prokhorov’s first offseason:

Still, allow me two making-a-splash predictions for this summer. The first: MRMC pounces on Phil Jackson with an absolutely unfathomable offer. How unfathomable? Five years, $85 million. Yeah. That’s what I mean. Prokhorov is already on record as saying that he wants an NBA coach. Why not overpay to get one of the greatest ever? How could the Lakers possibly come close to matching that commitment? And why would Jackson say no to finishing his career in the New York area for the most lucrative coaching deal ever, BY FAR? I say the Godfather offer gets made, and I say Jackson takes it.

Second, instead of chewing up Jersey’s cap space with overpaid free agents, I bet Prokhorov trades for Andrei Kirilenko — his former CSKA star, as well as an expiring 2011 contract of $17.82 million — in a deal that won’t cost Jersey anything because Utah (struggling to find money for Carlos Boozer) could easily replace Kirilenko with its lottery pick (No. 8 overall) and a second trade. For the Nets, even if they just rented Kirilenko and picked Georgia Tech’s Derrick Favors (the draft’s best power forward) at No. 3, that’s an intriguing short-term front line (Favors, Kirilenko and Brook Lopez) and they’d maintain flexibility for a run at Carmelo in 2011 and/or have Kirilenko’s expiring deal to shop this February. And it would go over big back home for Prokhorov. Win, win and win.

That is a lot of money, but would Jackson agree to coach the Nets? I guess it would depend on how quickly they can turn the roster around. I’d say this is a long shot. But still, with Jerry Buss asking Jackson to take a pay cut, it would make a potentially huge raise pretty intriguing.

The Nets missed out on the chance to draft John Wall, but they will have a shot at either Evan Turner or Derrick Favors at #3, or even DeMarcus Cousins if they decide that he’s not crazy enough to pass up. Cousins is more of a center, while I could easily see the developing Favors playing alongside Lopez. If Philly takes Favors #2, Turner would be a nice consolation prize, and he can play shooting guard if the Nets have their eye on Carmelo Anthony next summer.

Regardless, the Nets are going to be an attracting landing spot for free agents over the next few years, especially when the move to Brooklyn finally happens. Players like to play for owners who are willing to spend to win, and there’s a great chance that the Nets will have one of the biggest payrolls within five years.


Photo from fOTOGLIF

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