Andrei Kirilenko didn’t land a lucrative, long-term deal, but he will join a franchise with zero fear of taking on an extreme financial burden.
According to Kirilenko’s agent, Marc Fleisher, the Minnesota Timberwolves small forward of exactly one season will sign with the spendthrift Brooklyn Nets. The 11-year pro opted out of the second year of his contract in Minneapolis, worth $10.2 million.
Instead, he’ll accept $3.18 million via the Nets’ Taxpayer Mid-Level exception with another second-year player option, according to multiple media reports out of New York.
After scoring 12.4 points per game and pulling down 5.7 rebounds per game last year, Kirilenko joins an organization set to pay about $70 million in luxury taxes. Brooklyn’s shown little regard this offseason for the new collective bargaining agreement’s attempts at controlling spending, accumulating a projected payroll that now sits at nearly $100 million.
Kirilenko wasn’t expected to re-sign with Minnesota, especially after the Timberwolves agreed to sign small forward Corey Brewer from Denver in addition to retaining Chase Budinger and adding shooting guard Kevin Martin.
“He had a good year this past year for us,” Minnesota president of basketball operations Flip Saunders said. “We talked to him about trying to come back here, but he decided to go a different direction. We wish him and his family the best of luck.”