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Nets' Move to Brooklyn Still a Possibility?

A real estate report buried in the business section of yesterday's New York Daily News has some interesting implications for several NBA teams.

The report, which seems not to be published in their online edition, says that the developer behind the proposed "Atlantic Yards" project in Brooklyn has put 15 potentially-lucrative properties in the market, in the hopes of raising cash that would go towards the new development.

If it gets built, Atlantic Yards will be a massive commercial/residential development, centered largely around a new basketball palace that would become the new home for the New Jersey Nets. But the downturn in the economy has put the future of the project in doubt.

How does this impact the NBA? Potentially, a few ways. In the early discussions of the free agent class of 2010, the Nets were considered a leading contender for the services of one Mr. LeBron James. With a new arena in New York City and flashy ownership (uber-rapper Jay Z is a part owner), the Nets had a lot to offer. But the delays in getting Atlantic Yards built have moved the Nets down on the list of potential LeBron destinations -- no one thinks King James wants to reign over the swamps of Jersey.

Clearly, Atlantic Yards won't be ready for the 2010-11 season as originally hoped. But if the sale of these other properties can jump-start the process, maybe it will make the Nets a bigger player in the 2010 sweepstakes than most people thought. And that has to be a scary proposition for the Knicks, Pistons and anyone else hoping to nab LeBron, Dwyane Wade or one of the other big 2010 names.

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