Stern: Prokhorov Need Not Wait

Kommersant

Mikhail Prokhorov prefers to wait for New York State to take "vacant possession" of all the properties at the Barclays Center site before closing his deal on the Nets.  But David Stern says if the Russian billionaire is ready to forego those real estate legalities, the NBA Board of Governors is ready to approve his ownership. 

"I think if I were Mr. Prokhorov, I think I would wait for vacant possession...unless it got a little bit late," said Stern after the NBA Board of Governors meeting in New York.  Prokhorov was expected to be approved at the meeting, but he has chosen to wait for the state to gain control of the land in the footprint.  That now looks like mid-May at the earliest.  "I think that if it got to be draft time, I think there might be an acceleration of the closing in any event, even without the vacant possession," Stern added. The commissioner assured, "it's going to happen."

Meanwhile, it looks like the Nets (and every other team under the cap) will have more room to sign top-tier free agents.  Stern said it appears the cap will be $56.1 million, rather than the earlier estimate of $53.6 million. That means the Nets will have about $25.8 million in cap space to play with.  If the Nets passed on Chris Douglas-Roberts option and Kris Humphries opted out of his deal, the number would rise to nearly $30 million.  Signing a maxed-out free agent would require $16.5 million. Under the new estimate, the Knicks would have $34 million.

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