Andrei Kirilenko Reportedly Finalizing 2-Year Deal with Minnesota Timberwolves
The Minnesota Timberwolves are not playing around this offseason.
Minnesota is finalizing a two-year, $20 million contract with free agent forward Andrei Kirilenko, league sources tell Y! Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 25, 2012
After failing in their first attempt to bring in a solid small forward in Nicolas Batum, the Timberwolves found perhaps a better (but still not great) bargain on Kirilenko.
Face of the franchise Kevin Love recently said his patience with the organization was "not high" (per NBA.com), but the acquisition of Kirilenko should buy the T'Wolves some time in that department.
The Timberwolves have added to their already-solid roster this summer and could be looking at a starting five of Ricky Rubio, Brandon Roy, Kirilenko, Love and Nikola Pekovic. The question of whether the team is a playoff contender will be answered in time, but it certainly appears that a low seed in the Western Conference is not out of reach.
Before playing overseas last season, Kirilenko spent the last 10 years with the Utah Jazz, averaging 12.4 points and 5.6 rebounds during that span.
The 31-year-old Russian put up solid numbers for the Jazz in 2010-11, scoring 11.7 points and pulling down 5.1 rebounds per game. He also posted the second-best three-point percentage of his career (.367).
Two years, $20 million is a nice deal for both team and player, as Kirilenko provides a viable offensive option, as well as a solid defender, to a team that ranked 25th in the NBA in points allowed per game last season.
Kirilenko isn't what he once was, but there aren't many other smart options on the market right now.
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