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Schuhmann: Williams Is First Step in Prokhorov Plan...And The Key One

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Mikhail Prokhorov has spent more than a half billion dollars on the Nets

Even for a guy worth $13.4 billion (Forbes), $22.7 billion (Russian Finans) or $25 billion (a source of Marc Stein's who may have taken a peak at what he submitted to the NBA), that's a lot of cash.

There was $200 million to acquire 80% of the team and 45% of Barclays Center; $177 million in team debt he assumed; $60 million he'll pay in losses while the team is in Newark; plus $77 million in junk bonds to finance arena infrastructure and assorted other millions to facilitate trades, break the IZOD Center lease, hire new staff including a team chef (!), buy iPads, etc.

As John Schuhmann writes Saturday, that's impressed one NBA player. "You know that he's going to spend the money and want to compete," Deron Williams said Thursday. "He's already proven that by moving to Brooklyn and the new arena. You know he's going to go after some free agents hard." Prokhorov emphasized that commitment Friday when he dropped by San Antonio in his Gulfstream V.

Schuhmann thinks the whole undercurrent that the Nets gave up a lot to "rent" Williams doesn't make much sense.  "A better alternative would have been to ... what? Keep waiting?" asks Schuhmann. "Trying to figure out what's going to happen 17 months from now is pointless until a new CBA is in place and we understand what rules and what kind of budgets teams will be operating with."