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Minnesota Timberwolves Sign F Andrei Kirilenko to 2-Year Contract

ATLANTA - NOVEMBER 12:  Andrei Kirilenko #47 of the Utah Jazz against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on November 12, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  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 Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IJuly 27, 2012

The Minnesota Timberwolves have signed NBA veteran forward Andrei Kirilenko to a two-year contract, according to the T-Wolves' official PR Twitter feed:

#Twolves sign 10-yr NBA vet and 2004 @NBA All-Star Andrei Kirilenko. The 6-9 fwd spent last season in Russia, winning EuroLeague MVP.

— Timberwolves PR (@Twolves_PR) July 27, 2012

 

The deal is worth $20 million according to an ESPN.com report. Kirilenko will come back to play in the United States after suiting up for CSKA Moscow last season. He averaged 14.1 points and 7.5 rebounds per game for the Russian club. 

The NBA lockout, which stalled play until Christmas Day 2011, drove many players overseas, one of which was the versatile Kirilenko.

Kirilenko has averaged 12.4 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game over his NBA career, which began more than a decade ago. 

The 6'9" small forward had spent his entire time in the league with the Utah Jazz before signing with the Timberwolves this summer. 

This signing definitely shows that the Timberwolves are interested in competing and winning now. Kirilenko won Euroleague MVP honors last season in Russia and is only 31-years-old. 

His defensive presence on both the interior and the perimeter will be noticeable next season in Minnesota. Kirilenko averaged 1.2 blocks and 1.3 steals during his most recent NBA season with Utah.

According to ESPN.com, the Brooklyn Nets and Golden State Warriors were also top contenders in the race to sign Kirilenko this summer. 

 

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter. 

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