In a move that stunned the NBA world, Andrei Kirilenko reportedly agreed to a two-year, ~$6.3 million contract with the Brooklyn Nets last night.
It’s such a surprise because Kirilenko opted out of a contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves that would have paid him $10 million in 2013-14.
Kirilenko’s agent explained the strange decision to TNT’s David Aldridge last night. He said that Kirilenko already has a boatload of money, he wanted to play for a winning team, and the fact that Brooklyn has a Russian owner pushed it over the top.
Those three points all make sense.
1. Kirilenko has already made $101.2 million during his 12-year NBA career.
2. While the Timberwolves have some talent, it’s unlikely that they’ll be a championship contender in the next two years. The Nets, on the other hand, are going all-in and trying to win a title right now. There are questions about age, chemistry, and coaching surrounding the team, but the talent level of the roster (Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Brook Lopez, Kirilenko, Jason Terry, Andray Blatche) is ridiculous.
3. The Nets are owned by Russian oligarch Mikhail Prokhorov. Kirilenko is Russian too.
It’s a crazy good deal for the Nets. Kirilenko is a really, really good player who doesn’t need the ball in his hands, is an elite defender, and can play multiple positions.
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