Mikhail Prokhorov will be in the New York area for about 48 hours. Tuesday night at the NBA Entertainment studios in Secaucus, N.J., he will take his place behind a Nets placard, in the top slot for the NBA draft lottery, and wear a smile that he hopes will still be there when the winner is revealed.

If it is, not only will the Nets have their pick of the best of the best prospects, starting with Kentucky's John Wall, but they'll expect to have the pick of the best available coaches, too.

The Nets are expected to talk with experienced coaches such as Jeff Van Gundy and Avery Johnson, with highly regarded assistants such as Tom Thibodeau (Celtics) and Monty Williams (Trail Blazers) also high on the list.

If the Nets win the lottery, they almost certainly will draft Wall, who played for John Calipari at Kentucky this past season. Along with enough salary-cap space to sign a max-contract free agent such as LeBron James, the Nets would have a trade asset in point guard Devin Harris, who would be expendable with Wall on the roster.

And with that in mind, the Calipari Campaign, which is selling the Kentucky coach as a lure for James, has made overtures to the Nets, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. Already there is some serious resistance with the Nets, as well as in the Chicago Bulls' organization, and the situation, which was reported by Newsday and the Chicago Tribune yesterday, has the NBA scoffing at William "Worldwide Wes" Wesley's apparent attempt to package Calipari and LeBron.

But a source close to Calipari says there will be an effort made to get in touch with Prokhorov directly in the short period of time he will be here for the lottery. The Russian billionaire, who completed an 80-percent purchase of the franchise last week, is expected to spend whatever it takes to rebuild the Nets, loves a big splash and very much intends to make a run at James in free agency.

A person with knowledge of the Knicks' offseason plans expressed little concern about the Calipari-James combo pack but acknowledged there will be a great deal of angling for James' attention.

Calipari has seven years left on a contract he signed last year that is the richest in college basketball and is believed to average close to $4 million per season. And yet he already has opened negotiations with Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart to restructure his contract. The average salary of an NBA head coach is $3.4 million, with big-market coaches such as Mike D'Antoni making as much as $6 million per season.

Calipari doesn't have many allies within the Nets' organization, but he does have a good relationship with CEO Brett Yormark, who was with the Nets when Calipari coached them for two-plus seasons in the late 1990s. Rod Thorn's contract runs out June 30, but he remains the team president and is in charge of the coaching search, which won't start until after the lottery.

But what if Prokhorov decides to go in a different direction? Former Suns CEO Jerry Colangelo is believed to be interested in getting back into the NBA, and the USA Basketball chairman could try to talk Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski into joining him with the Nets.

The Knicks technically are in the lottery in the ninth position, but their pick goes to the Utah Jazz. The pick originally was sent to the Phoenix Suns in January 2004 as part of the Stephon Marbury trade. The Suns sent it to the Jazz a month later in a trade that included Tom Gugliotta.

The Dolan family owns controlling interest in the Knicks, MSG and Cablevision. Cablevision owns Newsday.

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