NBA Rumors: Latest Buzz on Andrei Kirilenko and Available Players
While the latest rumblings around the league are attached to D12, noise is being made elsewhere as well. Here’s the latest buzz on free agents and players on the trade block.
Andrei Kirilenko to Minnesota Timberwolves
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported that the T-Wolves are on the verge of signing Andrei Kirilenko to a two-year, $20 million deal.
Kirilenko was heavily linked to the Brooklyn Nets with fellow Russian Mikhail Prokhorov running the show, but according to Wojnarowski, Brooklyn couldn’t offer more than a veteran-minimum contract.
Is Minnesota a playoff team with Kirilenko?
Despite the fact that the T-Wolves are greatly overpaying for Kirilenko’s services, he’s exactly what they need. Minnesota surrendered 100.1 points per game last season—the eighth-worst mark in the NBA. According to 82games.com, Kirilenko allowed opposing small forwards to record a player efficiency rating of just 12.2 in the 2010-2011 campaign (the league-average is 15.0).
And given that he won Euroleague MVP last season in Russia, it’s safe to say his play hasn’t declined.
Dwight Howard to Orlando Magic
Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel reported that Magic GM Rob Hennigan met with Dwight Howard in Los Angeles on Wednesday. Hennigan’s agenda: to keep Howard in Orlando. Robbins wrote:
Hennigan has said for weeks that he's in no rush to trade Howard and that he will trade Howard only if the Magic receive a good offer for the perennial All-Star. Hennigan has said he has not ruled out beginning training camp and the regular season with Howard on the team's roster.
Will Orlando ever trade D12?
The Magic are being ridiculous.
Orlando isn’t going to get equal value for Howard and they never will. If they fail to trade him by next year’s deadline, every sane human being on the face of the planet knows that he’ll leave in free agency. And if they don’t deal D12 by the regular season, MTV might as well offer to film a reality television show featuring the franchise because the drama will be endless.
Andrew Bynum to Los Angeles Lakers
Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Times reported that Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak talked with Andrew Bynum’s agent David Lee on Wednesday about a contract extension.
Like Brook Lopez’s extension eliminated Brooklyn from the Howard-sweepstakes, one with Bynum would do the same for LA. And the longer the Magic flirt around with keeping Howard, the more likely that the Lakers will just say, “Screw it,” and re-sign Bynum.
While the discussions were “positive and productive,” Kupchak also said when asked if an extension was a forthcoming (via Los Angeles Times):
“The next day or two? The next week or two? No I don't think so. Hopefully it progresses."
If the Lakers fail to sign Bynum to an extension this season, he’ll become an unrestricted free agent next summer. From there, who knows what the loose cannon would decide to do.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.
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