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Prokhorov Starts Assembling Team

CSKA Moscow
CSKA Moscow

Rod Thorn will be back.  So will Brett Yormark.  And both will be part of the effort to find a new coach, whose initials may very well be JVG or AJ.  While those moves may have been telegraphed in recent days, others in the works indicate Mikhail Prokhorov may be going international in rebuilding the Nets' front office.  He told the Times Sunday  he intends to incorporate "a young, talented Russian manager with a successful background in European basketball into the team’s management." 

Andrei Vatutin, who worked seven years for Prokhorov at CSKA Moscow, is that manager, reports  Vatutin, 36, started out as a press aide to the Russian Basketball Federation, then helped build championship teams, first with Ural Great, then CSKA, where he became team president last year.  Vatutin, whose team is in the Euroleague Final Four for the eighth straight year, called the story "speculation" and said he hasn't received an offer from the Nets.

Arturas Karnisovas is not a Russian but a Lithuanian who played for Seton Hall before going back to Europe and having a successful career in the Euroleague.  Now, director of global scouting and international affairs for the Rockets, the 39-year-old Karnisovas is also a Prokhrorov target, reports Mitch Lawrence.  The Russian billionaire is "looking to raid the Rockets and bring in help Thorn continue to rebuild the team."  Lawrence does not say where the Jersey-based Karnisovas might fit upfront, but reports he's regarded as "an up-and-comer in NBA circles...another smart move."