Posted July 12, 2013

Reports: Nets agree to sign Andrei Kirilenko to two-year deal

Andrei Kirilenko, Ben Golliver, Brooklyn Nets, Minnesota Timberwolves
(David Sherman/Getty Images)

Andrei Kirilenko will reportedly sign with the Nets. (David Sherman/Getty Images)

The Nets have agreed to sign unrestricted free agent forward Andrei Kirilenko to a  two-year deal worth $6.4 million, according to CBSSports.com and USA Today Sports.

Peter Vecsey first reported that Kirilenko would join the Nets after opting out of the final year of his deal in Minnesota that would have paid him $10 million next season. The Nets will sign Kirilenko using their mini mid-level exception and the deal will reportedly include a player option on the final season.

Kirilenko, 32, averaged 12.4 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.8 assists for the Timberwolves last year after spending the 2011-12  season playing in Russia.

A long, versatile defender, Kirilenko will fit in beautifully on a veteran-dominated Nets roster with title aspirations. Known for his activity level but not his range on offense, Kirilenko is a box-score stuffer who spent the first 10 seasons of his career with Utah, where he earned an All-Star nod in 2004 and three All-Defensive team selections. It’s hard to imagine a better replacement (and upgrade) for Gerald Wallace, traded to the Celtics earlier this summer, especially at this price.

Once Kirilenko opted out of his contract, Minnesota decided to go a different direction, landing free-agent acquisitions Kevin Martin ($28 million over four years) and Corey Brewer ($15 million over three years) to shore up their wings. The Russian forward reportedly drew interest from the Spurs and Cavaliers.

In Brooklyn, Kirilenko will bring depth to a team whose starting lineup of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Brook Lopez will earn more than $82 million combined. He will join a bench unit that also includes Andray Blatche, Reggie Evans, Mirza Teletovic, Shaun Livingston and first-round pick Mason Plumlee. Importantly, Kirilenko will serve as injury protection for both Pierce and Garnett —  as he could theoretically step in as a starter at either forward position — and he can play alongside just about any combination of players because he doesn’t dominate the ball on offense.

Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov was a key financial backer of CSKA Moscow for more than a decade, using his personal wealth to transform the Russian club into an international power. Kirilenko played for CSKA Moscow during the 2011 lockout and from 1998 to 2001 before he made the leap to the NBA.

Grade: A+. It’s always a great sign for a team when the immediate reaction to the terms of a contract agreement on Twitter is speculation that there must be an under-the-table arrangement going on. Needless to say, taxpayer mid-level signings don’t come any better than this. For $3 million, capped-out teams usually expect to add a capable rotation player, not an established, two-way force who ranked tenth among small forwards in PER last year and whose numbers haven’t yet showed any major signs of age deterioration. That Kirilenko will take such a drastic pay cut to go from Minnesota to Brooklyn is a legit mystery, but he does so knowing that he will have the opportunity to play for a contender.

22 comments
CâlinRâdulescu
CâlinRâdulescu

Really great match. It makes sense from every possible point of view. Bench-wise, having someone with his capacity to do everything on the floor, stats included, is fabulous.

I'm a Lakers fan and I still applaud this move, makes for true competition. The East just got even more top heavy: Miami, Indiana, Nets, Chicago aro so much better than anyone else.

I'd even take the Nets against Miami in any series. Lopez versus BirdMan, Garnett versus Bosh (that's laughable, even 5 years from now), Pierce / Kirilenko against James / Battier, Johnson / Terry versus Wade, Allen, Williams versus Chalmers. That's 2 match-ups that go in favor of the Nets all day looooong.


6marK6
6marK6

So, does the league let this go? I mean, I know that Brooklyn could be the next big thing and the NBA does not want to stop that. But if you don't think there was money exchanged under the table, you are naive, comrade. 

NeoSmith
NeoSmith

What a complete and utter moron.  He thought he was worth more than what NBA teams thought he was and now he's stuck.  The last time I checked $10M for ONE year was MORE than ONE year for $3.2M.  The guy took a $6.8M pay cut to be a backup.  He would have started in Minnesota; he's got no heart.  I can only hope that Monta Ellis will get a $4M/year contract so that these overpaid players can come to some sense of reality.

Breezy04
Breezy04

Why does there even have to be a job in Prokhorov's company. Neither the NBA nor the IRS has access to bank records of Russian citizens in Russia. All Pro has to do is put 10 million in AK's Bank of Moscow account and nobody would be the wiser.

eleibow22
eleibow22

He's made $100M over his career and now when he retires and goes back to Russian he's set for life.  There's definatley some type of side agreement.  Probably a "job" at Prokhorov company

yodave23
yodave23

they would mention under the table cause he's Russian

JasonTang
JasonTang

Marshon brooks is on the celtics by tomorrow bro

barjona
barjona

The Nets are gonna be good next year, they may give Miami a run for their money. 

6marK6
6marK6

Instant points off the bench.

funkyk
funkyk

Kirilenko for the mini mid-level? Billy King went down to the Crossroads to get this one done. Bench would be a little scarier with Marshon lighting it up, but writer whiffed that he was part of the 3 Ageezos trade. With CJ Watson bolting to  the 2014 NBA Champs, they could stand another scoring guard--point or shorring. Anthony Morrow would have  been a nice, cheap addition.

netsfolife14
netsfolife14

Billy King for executive of the year! great signing!

Azeron
Azeron

@6marK6 The league has to prove it.  Players DO sometimes turn down more money on a non-competitive team to play for a contender.  Is anyone investigating Matt Barnes and the Clippers?

Saqalicious
Saqalicious

@NeoSmith So I guess Ray Allen has no heart either? He essentially did the same thing last year to join the Heat.

Azeron
Azeron

@NeoSmith He's just fine.  Everything isn't about money.  Sometimes it is about the fit.  He won't be worn down backing up Garnett and Pierce AND he'll be playing in May...unlike the Timberwolves.

NeoSmith
NeoSmith

@Breezy04 There has GOT to be some sort of side deal we aren't privy to.  NO way is this guy taking a $6.8M pay cut to be a backup, championship winning team or NOT.  All these moving parts on the Nets still have to mesh together and it's not going to happen this year.  It took Miami 1 year to get it all together.  Can Garnett make it to the second year?

Hampton180
Hampton180

@barjona Hope so, the only thing is that we know what the Heat are.  The Heat CAN win while the Nets COULD win.  Just look at the Lakers at the beginning of last year, they had a better starting 5 than the Nets and it took some poor officiating for them to even MAKE the playoffs.

JasonTang
JasonTang

Your saying the pacers will win it in 2014? What be u smoking?