Jun 29, 2013, 12:28 PM EDT
The Minnesota Timberwolves expected this, and if they want Andrei Kirilenko back next season now they are going to have to pay more for it.
Looking for some longer-term security, 32-year-old Kirilenko has opted out of the last year of his deal (worth $10.2 million) and will become an unrestricted free agent, reports Jerry Zgoda at the Star-Tribune. Kirilenko can re-sign with the Timberwolves or any other team.
Kirilenko is seeking a three- or four-year extension because he believes this might be the last chance to negotiate the last big contract of his career.
You can bet Flip Saunders won’t offer anything more than two years, and at a salary considerably less than $10 million.
What Kirilenko is doing is what Andre Iguodala and a lot of other players have done — they may take less money in the next season to get the security of a long-term deal.
Kirilenko averaged 12.4 points on 50.7 percent shooting plus had 5.7 rebounds a game for the Timberwolves last season playing primarily at the three. After spending the post-lockout season playing for CSKA Moscow, he returned to the NBA and continued to be a good performer with moments of impressive play.
If as expected he leaves Minnesota, just drafted Shabazz Muhammad could get some of Kirilenko’s minutes.
How much will teams pay for that in the new CBA with all the new taxes? Kirilenko is an interesting test of what teams will pay in the new CBA world, and for how long.
He will not be in the first wave of free agents picked up but there will be teams interested.
- Report: Anthony Bennett pulled from pro-am by agent, possibly due to his inclusion in Kevin Love trade talks 39
- Report: Sixers fighting against immediate changes to NBA Draft Lottery system 53
- Team USA going small ball, but how many bigs do they keep on the bench? 4
- Report: LeBron James more popular than he ever was with the Heat 14
- Durant says 2014 USA team better than 2010 version that won gold 6
- Kevin Durant knows you’re talking about his free agency but isn’t giving many clues. He liked what LeBron did. 17
- Byron Scott makes ridiculous optimism sound reasonable 44
- Derrick Rose told Carmelo Anthony that if he came to Chicago “the game would be easy” 42