Mikhail Prokhorov got his man yesterday. Now the Nets’ new billionaire owner can only hope Avery Johnson will help the team land the man, LeBron James, next month.


Johnson and the Nets verbally agreed on a three-year contract with an official announcement expected by the end of the week. The 45-year-old spent the last two years as an ESPN analyst after posting a .735 winning percentage in three-plus seasons with the Dallas Mavericks. Johnson snagged NBA Coach of the Year honors and led the Mavs to the NBA Finals in 2006. He was dismissed in 2008 after back-to-back first-round playoff exits.


He takes over a Nets team that just flirted with the worst season in history. Johnson’s years as a player make him very relatable as a coach, surely a major selling point to James, who becomes a free agent on July 1.