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Report: Spurs ‘seriously interested’ in Andrei Kirilenko

Jul 2, 2013, 1:08 PM EST

Manu Ginobili, Andrei Kirilenko, Derrick Williams

The Spurs have two key free agents: Manu Ginobili and Tiago Splitter. Ginobili will likely re-sign at a remarkably reduced cost than the $14 million he made last season, but Splitter will have other suitors bidding for him. Though Splitter is a restricted free agent, the Spurs have the flexibility to let him walk if he signs an offer sheet higher than their liking.

That’s because, if it weren’t for the cap holds of Ginobili and Splitter, the Spurs would have plenty of cap space. With Ginobili counting against the cap at an amount lower than his cap hold and Splitter signed elsewhere, San Antonio could pursue other free agents.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

sources close to the situation tell ESPN.com that the Spurs are seriously interested in free-agent forward Andrei Kirilenko

Splitter struggled at times during the NBA Finals, and the Spurs benched him to play small ball. Kirilenko could slide into the starting lineup at power forward with Tim Duncan shifting to center, perhaps better equipping San Antonio to play that style.

Splitter (28) is considerably younger than Kirilenko (32), but if the window to win around Duncan, Tony Parker and Ginobili is closing, that might not matter much to San Antonio. Kirilenko could have been paid more than $10 million this season, but he opted out of his contract to seek a long-term deal. If the Spurs let Splitter walk, they might even be able to get Kirilenko and a second quality player in Splitter’s place.

While negotiating with Kirilenko, San Antonio can also gauge whether he’d sign for the non-taxpayer mid-level exception ($5.15 million). The Spurs might even get the best-case scenario of keeping Ginobili and Splitter and signing Kirilenko.

  1. quickrespond - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    bad move Duncan plays better at PF this year showed that. flip splitter for TWOLVS (Nikola Pekovic) sounds better to me.

  2. asimonetti88 - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    Kind of hard to believe Kirilenko is only 32 years old. He has been around for a long time. I know 32 is no spring chicken but still wow.

  3. pmx8411 - Jul 2, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    they should let Splitter go….he was awful against MIA

    • redbullenergydrink - Jul 2, 2013 at 2:35 PM

      Whenever I think of Splitter, I just think of his attempted dunk on LBJ. We all know how that turned out.

  4. phreakin - Jul 2, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    Could see this coming a mile away once the finals were over. Manu is either retiring or gone after his finals performance-47 steps into the same roll that Manu will leave.

    • spursareold - Jul 2, 2013 at 2:46 PM

      Manu’s going nowhere, no matter how hard you wish it.

      I’m on the AK train, in spite of his wildly varying 3 point shooting. He can flat ball. Even last year in a horrible situation, he put up a PER of 17.6. A PER of 18 is considered borderline All Star.

  5. valarmorghuliss - Jul 2, 2013 at 2:51 PM

    A healthy Spurs team with AK47 would be my favorites to win it all next year IMO, even vs a healthy Thunder & Heat

  6. 00maltliquor - Jul 2, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    That would be a great fit for SAS.

  7. bucrightoff - Jul 2, 2013 at 3:51 PM

    Great picture choice. What the hell is going on in that shot?

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