Remember when Andrei Kirilenko turned down what would have been more than $10 million in his final year in Minnesota to sign a two-year deal for what was a mini mid-level exception in Brooklyn? Yeah, the NBA even investigated — and cleared — claims of corruption because Kirilenko shares the same heritage as Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov. Now it seems like he’s close to gone from BK and the New York Post‘s Tim Bontemps claims the Nets will either trade AK-47 or just buy him out.
First, Bontemps reported Kirienko would not travel with the team on their three-game road trip starting tonight in Oklahoma City and finishing in Philadelphia on the 26th.
Then, the New York Daily News‘ Stefan Bondy reported that the
situation rift between the team and player won’t be resolved until he’s on another team.
Now, Bontemps reports it’s “inevitable” Kirilenko will either be moved via a trade, or bought out. If he is traded, it’ll have to come some time after December 15, since that’s when all rookies and player’s signed to contracts this past summer can be moved; Kirilenko picked up his player option this summer and said he hoped he got more playing time with the new coach, “Of course I hope this year it’s going to change and I’m going be a little bit more [of a] contributor to the team.”
It appears Kirilenko — who has only appeared in seven of Brooklyn’s 11 games so far this season, and only played 36 minutes TOTAL in those appearances, going 0-for-5 from the field in that time — has fallen out of favor with first-year Nets coach Lionel Hollins. When the Post asked Hollins if he expected to see the do-everything Russian forward when the team returned to Brooklyn after their road trip, Lionel said, “I don’t know.”
Sources tell Bontemps no buyout negotiations have started, but it’s certainly possible a team might want to take a $3.3 million flyer on the 33-year-old former all-star.
Which contenders could use Kirilenko’s unique skill set?
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