Andrei Kirilenko Suspended: Latest Details, Comments and Reaction

Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 9, 2015

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Forward Andrei Kirilenko has yet to join the Philadelphia 76ers since they acquired him on Dec. 10. In response, the team has suspended the 13-year NBA veteran.

Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports the suspension is official:

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports was the first to report the news.

The Sixers traded for Kirilenko, a 2020 second-round pick and cash from the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for forward Brandon Davies one month ago.

Rather than playing for the struggling 76ers, though, AK-47 has opted to sit at home.

Per Wojnarowski, this suspension has been in the works for quite some time:

While the 33-year-old Kirilenko may come across as selfish for failing to report, Bob Ford of Philly.com is reporting that the Sixers have gone back on an agreement to release him upon acquiring him.

Ford relayed an assessment of the situation—and Hinkie in general—from league sources:

According to two sources, the Nets told the Sixers that Kirilenko would not report and wished to become a free agent. Brooklyn had other trade options that would have worked out just as well or better if Kirilenko had been willing to play. Those sources insist the Sixers agreed to release Kirilenko but did not. ...

... 'With Sam, it's all about assets,' another league source said. 'He wants small things to add up to big things. He does things his way.'

That's fine, but sources around the league indicate that Hinkie is also gaining a reputation as someone with whom other teams are leery of doing business.

While Kirilenko obviously isn't the same player he was while on top of his game with the Utah Jazz from 2001-2011, he is still capable of contributing to a winning cause.

That clearly isn't a priority for the 5-29 Sixers, so it is understandable why Kirilenko has no desire to join Philadelphia.

Until Kirilenko decides to play for the 76ers, however, he will not be paid as an NBA player.

 

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