Report: Nets’ Kirilenko may soon be bought out or traded

It seems almost inevitable now, according to the New York Post, that small forward Andrei Kirilenko is facing a limited future with the team.

The 6-foot-9 Russian forward wasn’t with the Nets on their trip to Oklahoma City Friday and San Antonio Saturday for personal reasons apart from basketball. But Kirilenko’s lack of involvement when around – just 36 minutes in seven games, scoring a total of three points – had the Post’s Tim Bontemps assessing the likelihood that the player and his $3.3 million expiring contract either will be traded or bought out:

Sources said no buyout negotiations have taken place yet, but that it’s possible the team could try to trade Kirilenko and his $3.3 million expiring contract. If such a trade were to materialize, it would likely be after Dec. 15, when all rookies and players signed to contracts this summer are eligible to be moved.

If a trade doesn’t materialize, it seems inevitable that a buyout would be reached at some point.

When asked if he could elaborate on the situation after the team’s morning shootaround [in Oklahoma City, coach Lionel] Hollins said he could not. Asked if he was expecting Kirilenko back with the team once the Nets returned home, Hollins said, “I don’t know.”

Either way, it’s hard to see Kirilenko in a significant role with this team again.

He was made a healthy scratch for losses to the Heat and Bucks at home this week, and after the Miami defeat on Monday said he felt fine physically and had “no idea” what he had to do to get back into Hollins’ rotation.

Those who thought Kirilenko’s kinship and shared heritage with Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov would serve him well (and even smelled something fishy) when he turned down a one-year, $10 million option from Minnesota to sign a two-year, $6.5 million deal with Brooklyn might want to reconsider, if they haven’t yet.

Back issues limited Kirilenko to 45 games last season in which he averaged 19 minutes, 5.0 points and 3.2 rebounds. As Bontemps noted, he wasn’t used in two of the Nets’ 12 playoff games against Toronto and Miami, and his hopes of a greater role with Hollins replacing Jason Kidd as coach have not materialized.

11 Comments

  1. a fan says:

    Lakers trade for sacre and kelly

  2. Jose says:

    come to Miami Andrei… you are good fit for Miami Heat style

  3. Clifford Yamasaki says:

    Ak-47!!! His name and background are more thanenough.he tore the warriors up in the jazz series.would help a lot of teams

  4. verysadokcfan says:

    The Nets are a train wreck.

  5. Not A Laker Fan says:

    The L.A. Lakers should add him to the team. Adding any veteran who can help the young players and fill in with quality defense from time to time can help them out.

  6. archeonix says:

    Kirilenko is a special player, at his best defensively exploiting the inherent weaknesses in standard offensive sets. He is a bit of a wild card and Hollins is pretty much by-the-book. He could help a lot of teams.

  7. el says:

    Should’ve taken the cool ten mil with the wolves, called it quits and went back to russia with his sexy lady friend.