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Deron Williams helping Nets try to recruit Kirilenko

Jul 24, 2012, 5:14 PM EST

Andrei Kirilenko

Would Andrei Kirilenko come back to the NBA to play for the veteran minimum?

It’s kind of hard to picture, but that is what the Nets are trying to convince him to do, reports Marc Stein at ESPN. And they are using Deron Williams to do the recruiting.

Sources close to the process told ESPN.com that Team USA guard Deron Williams, though abroad on national team duty, is part of the recruiting effort on Kirilenko, his former Utah Jazz teammate.

Not immediately clear, though, is the number of teams that are part of the race or whether Kirilenko is indeed willing to play for a minimum salary a la Antawn Jamison, who recently made that sacrifice to join the Los Angeles Lakers.

The problem is money. The Nets can only offer a veteran minimum contract at this point. Golden State is reportedly in the mix and they may have mid-level money to offer, but they are also talking to Carl Landry and they will have to make a choice. Other teams may be talking to AK-47 as well.

Kirilenko, who said he will return to the NBA, wanted to make a decision before the Olympics start. Look for something to happen quickly.

  1. Kevin S. - Jul 24, 2012 at 5:24 PM

    I really kind of doubt it – is AK-47 going to take the minimum to come off the bench for 15-20 minutes a night? Nets fans have been saying he doesn’t care about the money since he donated his entire salary to charity last season, but if that’s the case, wouldn’t he want more money to give to charity? I guess I could see it if Prokhorov agreed to donate the difference between what AK gets from the Nets and his top offer elsewhere to AK’s favorite charity, but somehow I’m guessing that would be considered illegal cap circumvention by the league, and I’d bet anything David Stern would be particularly keen on hammering the Nets if he has the chance, given how they’re basically thumbing their nose at the league’s disincentives for big spending.

  2. knightrider1755 - Jul 24, 2012 at 5:36 PM

    Kirilenko will soon be a Brooklyn Net.

  3. pike573 - Jul 24, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    He’ll be a Net. I picture a deserted snowy Russian road and a briefcase full of cash.

    • knightrider1755 - Jul 24, 2012 at 10:11 PM

      That’s too funny! That’s probably how it will go down.

  4. 3pointlegend - Jul 24, 2012 at 8:55 PM

    AK in BK sounds OK. AK-47 would be another piece as the Nets are starting to look like a serious contender in the East.

  5. beagle11 - Jul 25, 2012 at 12:01 AM

    I wonder how hard it is for owners to pay guys through back channels. Like swiss bank accounts and what not…

  6. billymc75 - Jul 25, 2012 at 10:33 AM

    So deny Dallas because u thought Howard was coming here, now u want to play with a guy like Dirk but not really, looks like u made the right decision?

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