Andrei Kirilenko Takes Leave of Absence from Nets: Latest Details and Reaction

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistNovember 21, 2014

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Andrei Kirilenko has taken a leave of absence from the Brooklyn Nets for "personal reasons."

Continue for updates.

Monday, Nov. 24

Kirilenko Could be on the Move

ESPN's Marc Stein reported the Jazz could be an option for Kirilenko:

On Friday, ESPN's Ohm Youngmusik reports the 76ers and Nets could be looking to strike a deal for the embattled veteran:

Friday, Nov. 21

Kirilenko Takes Leave of Absence

According to Rod Boone of Newsday, the Nets announced on Friday that Kirilenko wouldn't make a road trip with the team to Oklahoma City and San Antonio over the weekend.

It doesn't end there, as Boone also tweeted a quote from Nets head coach Lionel Hollins when he was asked if the veteran forward would return for the team's game at Philadelphia on November 26:

While it's unclear exactly why Kirilenko is taking a leave of absence from the Nets, Tim Bontemps of the New York Post recently wrote about how the team has been steadily decreasing his playing time due to poor performances:

But Kirilenko has struggled mightily in the minutes he has received early this season, and has scored just three points in the 35 minutes he's played across seven games. And now he doesn’t appear to be anywhere near the major contributor he was expected to be after agreeing to opt in to the second year of his two-year deal this summer.

Within that Bontemps piece, Kirilenko certainly didn't seem to be happy about his decreased playing time but noted that Hollins has been direct with him about it.

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"It's tough, but there's nothing I can do," Kirilenko said. "I'm not the one making decisions, and it is what it is. ... I really appreciate [Hollins' openness], but it doesn't make things easier."

Kirilenko also added in the piece that there's no injury that would prevent him from playing. 

Stefan Bondy of Daily News, citing a source, tweeted that any resolution between Kirilenko and the Nets won't come until he's playing somewhere else:

To say this has been a bad season for Kirilenko is being kind. He's averaging 5.1 minutes, 0.4 points and 1.1 rebounds per game. He's appeared in seven games so far and hasn't made a field goal. His only points this year, all three of them, came from the free-throw line in the season opener against Boston

Kirilenko is in the final year of his contract with the Nets. He had the choice to opt out after last season, in which he appeared in 45 games and averaged a career-low five points per game, but decided to exercise his player option for $3.3 million. 

Now with his diminished playing time and a coach who doesn't seem to have a spot for him anymore, Kirilenko looks to be in a state of limbo. He's still young enough at 33 to be a productive player somewhere, but Brooklyn doesn't appear to be a fit anymore. 

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