NBA Rumors: Why the Nets Cannot Pass on Andrei Kirilenko

Kevin Abblitt@kevinabblittCorrespondent IIIJuly 23, 2012

MIAMI - NOVEMBER 09:  Andrei Kirilenko #47 of the Utah Jazz waits during a foul shot during a game agsinst the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on November 9, 2010 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The new-look Brooklyn Nets have become a walking headline in the best way possible. Away from their iconic new uniforms and home city, the majority of their popularity this offseason has been highlighted by Dwight Howard.   

Despite their irresponsible misjudgment of passing on Howard, the Nets have collected their losses and reeled in some landmark names in the process. 

There are no signs of slowing down at all. The soothing buzz regarding the potential addition of former Utah Jazz phenom, Andrei Kirilenko, has mounted to a large roar. The Nets may be Kirilenko's next destination in his way back to returning to the states. 

Kirilenko lit up the court during his tenure in the NBA before retreating back home last season to play for CSKA Moscow.  

With the Nets recently bringing in Gerald Wallace, Kirilenko will likely assume the duties of the reserve role. 

Kirilenko is a natural point scorer, and the production off the bench would be monumental to the team’s 2012 success. During his 10-year stint with the Jazz, he racked together an average of 12.4 points and a reasonable .312 clip from beyond the arc. His offense doesn’t justify the entire story. 

Defensively, his lanky 6’9’’ frame has warranted him an average of 2.0 blocks per game and 5.6 rebounds per game. To put it plainly, he is a guaranteed threat on either side of the ball. 

Age has yet to diffuse his game. At 31, Kirilenko has proven that he still has what it takes to play amongst the premiere level of competition. 

In his single season with CSKA, Kirilenko was named Euroleague MVP where he connected on 14.9 points per game to match his 6.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. 

Where the Nets fall handcuffed is in the money department. The dispute over money may be the breaking factor that deters Kirilenko from joining the Nets.

His contract with CSKA will earn him $12 million over the next three years. If he chooses to join the Nets, the only contract he can be offered will dramatically fall below $4 million. This is the uncontrollable aspect of his veteran status that has caught up with him.  

It would be a devastating blow once again if the Nets are unable to land Kirilenko. His experience and leadership would bode well for their clubhouse.

Jay-Z, a little help?