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Andrei Kirilenko opts out, will be unrestricted free agent

Jun 29, 2013, 12:28 PM EDT

Manu Ginobili, Andrei Kirilenko, Derrick Williams AP

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.

  1. htownred34 - Jun 29, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    I thin a 3 year 18-24 million deal would be fine 8 mil is a very Good price for him

  2. homegrowntalentmn - Jun 29, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    Yesss!! Now we can pay pek! I liked AK47 but at 10 a yr nooooo thanks.

  3. adoombray - Jun 29, 2013 at 1:43 PM

    AK was a fantastic player for the Twolves but Pek needs to get paid and this would get Shabazz and Derrick Williams on the floor a lot more (even though the 3 isnt D. Will’s best position, he needs minutes, period)

    • homegrowntalentmn - Jun 29, 2013 at 1:58 PM

      Don’t forget about budinger.. perfect 3 for us. Just gotta re-sign him but it won’t that expensive.

      • adoombray - Jun 29, 2013 at 2:02 PM

        Ah, yeah, coffee aint quite kicked in, but you’re right, Budinger could definitely be the starter on that team, hes what they wanted out of Batum but for prolly less than half the price, and Budinger just gushes about how much he loves playing for Adelman at every opportunity

  4. 00maltliquor - Jun 29, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    Wow! AK47 just did MIN a favor! Why would he opt out? He ain’t gonna get that kind of cake elsewhere. Time to sign Pek.

  5. kuranda84 - Jun 29, 2013 at 4:05 PM

    So $10 mil next year isn’t long term security?

  6. iwillfindyou - Jun 29, 2013 at 4:36 PM

    Bulls should be all over him

  7. northstarnic - Jun 29, 2013 at 6:26 PM

    I really hope the t-wolves bring Kirilenko back. There were many nights when he was the best player in a wolves uniform. Pay the man!

    • lordfletcher - Jun 29, 2013 at 11:24 PM

      contract year.

      I wouldn’t expect the same level of play for the rest of his career. That and he is only getting older, wheels are bound to fall off. (yes, I know 32 isn’t THAT old but it is a risk)

      I would stay away from a 4 year deal, in fact if I was Flip, let him walk.

  8. jimeejohnson - Jun 29, 2013 at 8:18 PM


  9. flyingvien - Jun 29, 2013 at 8:49 PM

    I too was surprised ten mil wasn’t security enough. Jeez.

  10. skinsfanwill - Jun 29, 2013 at 9:11 PM

    I’m sorry., but Budinger is not the answer at the 3. I don’t even see the potential. He’s a decent option coming off the bench, but he is surely not the answer.

  11. sportsnut101 - Jun 29, 2013 at 11:11 PM

    Ak was awful this season for the money he was getting paid I expected all star level play not CBa play

    He’s a nice player but not for that team. He made mistake of going there I think Hey if billy king can give Wallace 4 40 mill

    Then this guy can get it he’s much better

    But I would do 3 28 mill with third yr team option

  12. metalhead65 - Jun 30, 2013 at 12:28 AM

    the pacers should sign him, he would fix that bench problem in a hurry. he can come in for west and they would not miss a beat.

  13. jacksonkane - Jun 30, 2013 at 12:51 AM

    This is a tough opt-out in my opinion. While he may get 3 years ~15 – 20 mil, his annual salary will not be greater than 10 mil in any year. I would have played through this year and used it as an opportunity to prove my worth.

    His agent must want the guaranteed money (i.e. he gets injured this year = 10 mil and that possibly it. He signs a 3 year deal = 15-20).

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