It seems that the chances of Andrei Kirilenko playing for the San Antonio Spurs next season are fading away, so this makes the Utah Jazz, Memphis Grizzlies and Dallas Mavericks as the next in line to pick up the Russian forward, leaving the Minnesota Timberwolves after last season.
Kirilenko, who averaged 12,4 points and 5.7 rebounds last season for the Timberwolves (his highest scoring average since 2005-2006), missing almost 20 games as one of the long list of injuries the team suffered from.
Kirilenko decided to decline the option on his last season, giving up more than $10 million he would have made in 2013-2014, preferring to look for a team elsewhere. By getting Kirilenko off the books, the Timberwolves have been able to add Kevin Martin and probably Corey Brewer, although they tried to make a sign-and-trade deal work with the Spurs.
However, the Timberwolves didn’t see anything the Spurs offered them they were willing to take, not to mention the $8-9 million they would have had to swallow in contract for players they’re not too hot on.
The Timberwolves haven’t been looking for other trades, which means the Kirilenko is going to look for a multiyear deal on his own, with the Timberwolves getting involved. Teams that have come up as options for the player are the Utah Jazz, where Kirilenko played for 10 seasons, and are in need of another small forward who can also play in other positions and guard all across the frontcourt.
The Memphis Grizzlies, with their limitations, are also an option for the 32 year old, who is probably looking for something a little bit higher than the Mid-level exception. They might be looking for a small forward who can give them a bit more offense than Tayshaun Prince without losing his defensive qualities, although they are limited in what they can offer.
A different team with a bit more money to offer and obviously the need for any kind of quality are the Dallas Mavericks, who at the moment are still saving something for Andrew Bynum (with Monta Ellis also in the back of their minds), but might have to settle for something else, and getting Kirilenko to either start (if they can get rid of Shawn Marion) or backup any of the forward positions for two aging players would be a huge plus.
Kirilenko? The closest thing to a contender he can sign for are the Memphis Grizzlies, but it’s probably going to come down to the longest and best contract he’s going to get, looking for three years but probably willing to settle for two.