Atlantic Notes: Prokhorov, Nets, Celtics, Raptors

Nets majority owner Mikhail Prokhorov is in America this week and spoke to reporters yesterday about meeting with Deron Williams and his desire to turn the team into a championship contender. If you're looking for something substantial though, look elsewhere, says Dave D'Alessandro of the Star-Ledger. D'Alessandro calls Prokhorov an absentee owner who doesn't really follow the team closely, and wonders how that will affect players deciding whether or not to sign with the Nets.

Here are a few morning Wednesday morning links out of the Atlantic Division:

  • Trail Blazers fans are hoping the Nets' first-round pick Portland holds turns into perhaps a fourth- or fifth-overall selection, but as a NetsDaily piece points out, that's not possible based on the current standings. The best the Blazers' could do with New Jersey's pick right now is seventh overall. I updated the status of this pick and other protected first-rounders yesterday.
  • With the 2012 London Olympics approaching, a pair of Celtics teammates expressed a lack of interest in playing for Team USA, as Chris Tomasson of FOX Sports Florida writes. Rajon Rondo said he loves his summers too much to consider playing in the Olympics, while Ray Allen said he believes players should be paid to participate, given the profit made off Team USA jersey sales.
  • Unlike Toronto's NHL team, the Raptors shouldn't be sorry for the team's performance this season, says Doug Smith of the Toronto Star. While Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke took out an ad in the Star to apologize for his team's disappointing record, Bryan Colangelo and the Raptors have done exactly what they intended this season — develop young players, maintain cap flexibility, and incorporate the philosphies of new coach Dwane Casey.

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