Kirilenko Could Join Wolves’ Pack

HANG TIME, Texas – You can never say that Timberwolves president of basketball operations David Kahn lets the grass grow under his feet. If he delivers on the rumor of sending Wesley Johnson to Phoenix as part of a three-team trade that also includes New Orleans, he’ll have dealt away five first-round picks in just two years.

More important, he could bounce back after losing out on the offer sheet to Nicolas Batum by bringing forward Andrei Kirilenko back to the NBA from Russia.

According to the relentless Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, there would be a sign-and-trade deal that sends Robin Lopez and Hakim Warrick to the Hornets and also a lottery-protected first-round draft pick to the Suns.

The teams were still finalizing details, but sources said that Lopez, a restricted free agent, was returning soon from a vacation to take a physical for the Hornets. New Orleans had been working diligently for weeks on acquiring a center to play alongside No. 1 overall pick Anthony Davis, and give Davis some inside support.

Kirilenko has a buyout in his CSKA of Moscow contract that allows him to return to the NBA. He ruled out the Brooklyn Nets and Russian billionaire owner Mikhail Prokhorov on Tuesday because the Nets simply couldn’t pay him beyond the veteran’s minimum of $1.2 million, sources said. Kirilenko has been searching for a deal that would pay him in the vicinity of $8 million annually, and Minnesota could have the cap space to do so.

Minnesota is signing another Russian, point guard Alexey Shved, to a free-agent contract. The T’wolves signed Portland restricted free agent Nicolas Batum to a $45 million offer sheet, but the Trail Blazers matched the money to retain him.

Kirilenko, 31, is eight years older, but would fill many of the same needs the Timberwolves were chasing when they went after Batum. After playing 10 NBA seasons with the Jazz, Kirilenko spent last season with CSKA Moscow, where he was named Euroleague MVP.

It’s said that a two-year, $18 million offer with a player option for a third season could close the deal for Kirilenko. It’s a far cry from the $17 million he was paid by the Jazz in 2010-11, but would be money well spent for a Wolves roster that could use a defender on the front line.

37 Comments

  1. Joey says:

    thumbs up if you think the t-wolves will make the playoffs

  2. Bossman says:

    I’m sorry but who the he’ll is ak47? Brandon Roy?

  3. Darin B says:

    Minnesota is relying on 3 injured players to have seasons they haven’t had since being healthy and we are suppose to buy into that? Fans are such dunces these days. Kirelenko was a stiff in Utah his last two years and Brandon Roy has no cartilage in his knee whatsoever and Rick Rubio is coming off a horrific ACL injury. The T-wolves will be a laughingstock with these lotteryesque medical casualties barring a minor miracle. If they all play more than 50 games together I would be astonished!

  4. Quo says:

    Let’s take a look back at the past picks of the Timberwolves (at least top 7)

    2006 6th pick Brandon Roy (traded for Randy Foye)
    2007 7th pick Corey Brewer
    2008 3rd pick O.J. Mayo (traded for Kevin Love)
    2009 5th pick Ricky Rubio
    2009 6th pick Jonny Flynn
    2010 4th pick Wesley Johnson
    2011 2nd pick Derrick Williams

    The Wolves even got former 2nd picks from their respective drafts in Milicic and Beasley.

    I just wish this could be the time that the Wolves made the playoffs once again.

  5. Harry says:

    Literally laughing out loud at all the bandwagon Lakers supporters who evidently know nothing about basketball.

  6. Zach says:

    I’m liking the look of this new Wolves line up. AK47 will go great alongside Love, Pek and Roy. It will still be interesting to see how Ricky comes back from an ACL. but I have to give credit to Kahn, he said he would build a great team and he has got all the pieces together. I like Wes but he has done nothing so far and has only had a couple of good games.

  7. Dimes says:

    Nice :) Shved+AK47 = CSKA Moscow offensive creativity this 2011-2012

    Ou – and Minnisota can trade Stiemsma for Tima Mozgov – and all 3 russian players in NBA would be in 1 team :)

  8. Matt says:

    If the whole MIN can stay injury free, they must have a spot between No.6 – No.8 (aka Dallas’s spot)
    Since Rubio would be coming off an ACL, ROY’s retirement , and now AK…
    We are talking about 2 or 3 possible starter on this team who are some sort of injury prone….
    I really like this Timberwolves team and really hope they could all stay injury-free

  9. Lakers/Heat Fans are Ridiculous says:

    Whitest team in the league
    Rubio/Barea
    Ridnour
    Budinger/AK
    Love
    Pekovic (Guess they released Milicic)

  10. Lakers/Heat Fans are Ridiculous says:

    Wolves again looking to add to their all white roster. Rubio Love Bud Pekovic Ridnour AK47 Barea …

  11. larry says:

    that just wont happen. My suns aint silly enough to let gortat go…keep dreaming dumb heat fans

  12. hanamichi says:

    yeah everybody goes to lakerland, old man kobe needs some bad needed help to catch up with mj’s 6th ring.

  13. hanamichi says:

    yeah put AK47 with the lakers and this will just be a league played between lakers and heat.

  14. bignbafan says:

    There’s a reason Utah didn’t resign him, and no it doesn’t have to do with money. If Utah wanted him they would have got him early and before all of the moves they have made. Its been no secret he wanted to go back to Utah if they wanted him and if the chemistry was right. I respect him and think he is a good player but he doesn’t fit in with Utah anymore. IF and IF he can stay healthy he MIGHT be able to give the T’wolves the boost they need to improve.

  15. toronto416 says:

    SMH at the timberwolves they got terrible leadership, they just wasted the last 5 years in the lottery, they took j. flynn and let him go for nothing, they got b easy through trade and let him go for nothing, they want to get rid of d. williams, and now wesley johnson too?? and we all know rubio will not live up the hype. who is calling the shots up there cuz if its khan that ediot should have been gone since that 09 draft where he pick 3 PG in the top 20 and ended up with nothing to show for it LOL, i can guarantee in the next couple years this whole d howard hoopla is going to be goin on in minny with k love. where is LOVE going to land??? LAKERLAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. Ralph says:

    Wow, didn’t see the Wolves getting rid of Johnson AND getting the much needed upgrade at the 3 for this coming season at all. I thought that was done once they struck out on the Batum deal. Great job by the front office on making the moves to propel them back into the postseason.

  17. Deputy says:

    AK 47 would be a perfect fit for this team…..they will reach the play-offs…..go wolves

    • Jimbo says:

      Yes… MN will probably make playoffs this year and have a quick exit. One thing is for sure about Kirilenko is that he had a lot of injuries with Utah and the injuries uslually come when you need him the most, aka Playoffs. So if AK can play injury free MN wins, if AK injured MN loses, it is a gamble.

  18. Alexies says:

    I can’t believe there’s no idiot Heat fan saying he should sign with them

  19. Bersem says:

    Kirilenko should sign with the Lakers…better fit for him and LA ;-)

  20. Laker4Life says:

    Andrei Kirilenko I love this guy a lot he will b full fill 4 wolves good D & good 3

  21. Cem Terzi says:

    Greate news.
    Bora and me are very happy about it.
    Cem Terzi

  22. heat!!miami says:

    i believe if they get ak47 they will be playoff contender

  23. Drake says:

    It’s an expensive, “win now” acquisition. AK has only two years left – few players hang around past 33 – and will cost the Wolves far more than Wesley Johnson’s salary. It is possible that Wesley may develop into an NBA player, but for the present the Wolves would be upgraded. Are the Wolves also to give up a future first-round draft choice? This would be quite a price to pay for AK – but at least Johnson would be gone. Love can’t say that the Wolves aren’t trying to upgrade the team.

    • Levi says:

      It’s either they trade a first round pick now or they waste it on someone that won’t live up to their potential in the future. Would you rather have someone as good as Kirilenko for 2 years or draft another Wes Johnson or Jonny Flynn?

    • Steve Goecke says:

      It’s clear the Wolves clearly have little patience in waiting for Wes Johnson to develop, which I personally don’t think he will. If Kahn is/was even contemplating trading away their last year’s #2 pick Derrick Williams, then it’s abundantly obvious that Kahn’s either borderline crazy and/or Adelman has bent his ear saying he doesn’t want any more rookies and favors veterans probably like Kirilenko, viz. Brad Miller.

      Yes, you’re correct, there is a danger in loading up on big contracts for players that are edging their useful playing years, but look at KG still going strong for Boston at the age of 36! So AK should have a few more productive years in him, and at least he has a work ethic via Jerry Sloan so we know we’ll get production out of him.

  24. Steve Goecke says:

    This would be a fantastic turn of events for Minnesota. Wes Johnson has not lived up to his billing and being the #4 pick by the Timberwolves, which probably isn’t his fault. He looked last on the floor, couldn’t create his own shot, and when he was open often missed. Even though “AK-47″ is older now, he could give the Wolves some veteran leadership and hard-nosed defense and effort he learned from playing under Jerry Sloan all those years in Utah.

  25. Paulo says:

    I can´t wait to see the wolves this season with Kirilenko, Love, Roy and Rubio,..and Willians,..they will be a great combination of youth and matures that I´m sure will be a headache for many!! Go wolves!!!!

    • Jeed says:

      What about Pekovic? Don’t think you’ll see a lot of Kirilenko, Williams, and Love at the same time.

    • Agree with Paulo says:

      I think Kirilenko could teach young players with high potential, For Ex: Derrick Williams, Anthony Randolph, and Chase Bundinger. Just like what i thought the knicks were gonna do with Jeremy Lin and Jason Kidd.

      • alienboy says:

        Actually that didn’t happen with the Knicks. They get Jason Kidd to train Raymond Felton. LOL

  26. Knicks 4 President says:

    If the wolves get kirilenko they would really be a force to be reckoned with. This is only possible if brandon roy plays like he jus like he used to which I think is no problem. Wih kevin love being their top scorer, ricky rubio can really blossom ino a veryo good pg, espcially now with other scoring options like roy.

    • hau5 mau5 says:

      totally agree…

    • LakersftwKB says:

      I do not agree!?! You guys are crazy! They will be an 8th seed at its best. There wins wont change at all next season. The last time the T’wolves were a real good team is back when KG played, i donnt see them going anywhere but the lottery this next season… sorry minnasota fans