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Vatutin Hints at Unhappiness With CSKA Owners

CSKA Moscow
CSKA Moscow

In an interview with the Russian press, Andrei Vatutin says the owners of CSKA Moscow may order more cost-cutting this off-season and the team will have to rebuild, yet another indication he may be ready to leave the team for the Nets.

Vatutin, the CSKA president, is reportedly in line to join the Nets front office in a yet unspecified position once Mikhail Prokhorov takes over the franchise. In the interview, Vatutin hinted he's unhappy with the direction of the Russian club, where he has worked for the last eight years, first under Prokhorov but now under new, less basketball-friendly corporate owners. The owners cut team expenditures by 30% last off-season.  He told the Russian media Tuesday the coming off-season will be "more difficult" and it will determine how "serious" the owners are about the club.  Vatutin has been widely praised in Europe for getting the team back to the Euroleague Final Four despite restraints.

He also suggested that CSKA is getting older.  He said the rebuilding won't happen all at once, but didn't indicate he will personally be part of it.  In comments earlier this week, Vatutin said he has not received any offers from the Nets..."yet". "US mass media is free to write whatever they wish, that I am packing my suitcases already and [am} flying tomorrow," said the 36-year-old. "I have not got any offers from Nets yet."