Atlantic Notes: Prokhorov, Crowder, Casey

Russian law enforcement and tax officials are searching the Moscow offices of Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov’s company, ONEXIM, reports Yuliya Fedorinova of It’s not entirely clear why the search is taking place, though the Russian wire service Interfax reports the search has to do with offshore investment and tax payments and is part of a criminal proceeding, according to NetsDaily (Twitter link). Prokhorov ran against Russian president Vladimir Putin in 2012, and Putin is applying political pressure on offshore investors, as Fedorinova details. The ONEXIM under investigation isn’t the same as the holding company that controls the Nets, as NetsDaily points out.

While we wait to find out the implications of the Brooklyn-related news, see more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Magic insisted that the Celtics include Jae Crowder in a would-be deal when the sides discussed potential Tobias Harris trades before the deadline, and Orlando’s insistence on Crowder stopped the talks from going further, a league source told A. Sherrod Blakely of Crowder isn’t untouchable, but he’s close, a league executive whose team negotiated with the Celtics told Blakely.
  • The Raptors have yet to pick up the team option on their contract with coach Dwane Casey for next season, but GM Masai Ujiri strongly signaled Wednesday that the team will, as expected, observes Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun (Twitter link). “He’s been phenomenal I think, whether it’s reading games or adjustments, or just growth overall as a coach,” Ujiri said. “To be honest, everyone makes such a big deal like ‘OK, if we don’t make it past the first round, what will happen to Casey?’ Well Coach Casey deserves to be our coach, that’s 100% and I stand by that. He deserves to be our coach in the future because he has put in the work I think to bring winning to our program. The players have responded well I think, and it has translated a little bit and we hope it translates to the playoffs and I’m very hopeful it will because he’s a defensive minded coach but he’s been tremendous for us.”
  • Owner James Dolan still trusts team president Phil Jackson and his triangle offense, sources tell Marc Berman of the New York Post, and it’s doubtful Jackson will opt out of his deal after next season, as he hopes to serve out his contract, which runs until March 2019, Berman writes. Some around the league think Dolan wants Jackson to think about deferring to GM Steve Mills for the decision on the team’s next head coach if the Zen Master does intend to opt out, and if that’s the case, Mark Jackson, Scott Brooks and Randy Wittman, along with David Blatt, would be candidates, according to Berman.
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