Dec 6, 2011, 2:37 PM EDT
Andrei Kirilenko has a lot of friends in the United States. Or people that want to be his friends. Particularly general managers of teams that want to be his friend.
Fifteen teams have reached out to the free agent forward, AK-47’s agent told Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star. The Pacers are among that group — and likely have more money to spend than just about anybody in that group.
The Jazz are not one of the teams reaching out to him, according to reports.
Kirilenko is a versitile role player who can be a good fit in the right situation. He’s a long 6’9” who can finish at the rim and play inside or knock down the three. He’s a good shot blocker if not an always focused defender. He moves pretty well without the ball and gave the Jazz a fairly efficient 11.7 points and 5.1 rebounds a game last season. He’s not an All-Star now — and certainly not worth the $17.8 million the Jazz paid him last season — but he is above average.
The question now is where does Kirilenko go as a free agent. Does he chase a ring with a contender or go to a team with cap space that can really pay him. He was tearing it up in Europe with CSKA Moscow (he was the EuroLeague player of the month in October and quite the dancer), but his game always fit well in international ball. He did suffer a nasty head injury and a shoulder injury but is said to be back to 100 percent.
The question is where will it fit in the NBA this season. Kirilenko has options.
- Report: Nike gets chance to match 10-year, $265 million offer to Kevin Durant from Under Armour 1
- Should NBA coaches get NFL style challenge flags? 18
- Report: Suns discussing trade possibilities for Eric Bledsoe 26
- Report: Sixers may look to trade for Amar’e Stoudemire at this season’s deadline 32
- Kevin Durant reiterates that rest was his reason for withdrawing from Team USA 9
- Kobe Bryant says he will not be same player as before, says he’s evolved into something equally good 25
- Report: Agent for Greg Monroe pursued sign-and-trade deals with five teams, including Thunder and Blazers 26
- Derrick Rose sits out another Team USA practice, not likely to start Wednesday 23