Skip to content

Report: NBA executives don’t trust Mikhail Prokhorov after Nets sign Andrei Kirilenko on cheap

Jul 12, 2013, 3:00 PM EDT

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kirilenko blocks a shot by Brooklyn Nets forward Humphries in the first quarter of their NBA basketball game in New York

Andrei Kirilenko opted out of a Timberwolves contract that would have paid him $10.2 million next season, and he accepted a contract with the Nets that starts at $3.18 million.

Kirilenko is Russian, as is Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov.

Apparently, NBA executives have connected those facts, and they’re mad, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports:

Within the NBA, there had long been those promising that deals would start popping up involving Prokhorov that made no fiscal sense, theorizing that high-end players could take less within the constraints of the salary cap and still make up the difference in clandestine pacts.

“Brazen,” one Western Conference GM told Yahoo! Sports.”Let’s see if the league has any credibility,” one NBA owner told Yahoo! Sports. “It’s not about stopping it. It’s about punishing them if they’re doing it.”Another Eastern Conference GM: “There should be a probe. How obvious is it?”The telephone calls and text messages kept coming on Thursday night and Friday morning, and the reason was simple: Few trust Prokhorov to honor the NBA’s salary-cap rules and regulations. He made his $15 billion fortune in the wild 1990s in Russia in what he called, “cowboy territory with no sheriff.” Bribes were part of the business culture, and Prokhorov confessed to his part in it.

This strikes me as way too prejudiced.

What was the higher-paying offer Kirilenko rejected as a free agent? Once he opted out, that $10.2 million was no longer on the table. Kirilenko wouldn’t be the first player to misdiagnose the market when deciding on a player option, and the fact that he took a one-year deal with a player option for a second season suggests he wants to try free agency again sooner than later. He also wouldn’t be the first player to join a contender for less than market value.

Nearly everyone agreed Paul Millsap should have gotten more money as a free agent. Millsap and Hawks co-managing partner Michael Gearon Jr. are both American. Did Millsap accept less money as part of an American conspiracy?

Andray Blatche took less money to spite Ted Leonsis, the American owner of the Wizards.  Is Blatche anti-American?

Not every signing is a statement on international relations – including Kirilenko’s.

Latest Posts
  1. Report: Lakers interested in signing Rajon Rondo as a free agent ‘only at a certain low price’

    Apr 28, 2015, 3:00 PM EDT

    Rajon Rondo AP

    Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak both remain interested in Rondo, but have cooled a bit in terms of how high they’ll go to retain his services.

  2. Anonymous GM: If Brook Lopez wants to stay with Nets, ‘he should be able to get whatever he wants’

    Apr 28, 2015, 1:40 PM EDT

    Atlanta Hawks v Brooklyn Nets Getty Images

    Lopez has a player option for $16.7 million next season, but could opt out to re-sign a longer deal this summer — with Brooklyn, or with someone else.

  3. No Kevin Love, no J.R. Smith to start, how much trouble is Cleveland in?

    Apr 28, 2015, 12:30 PM EDT

    cd0ymzcznguwzdbhnduynddiytjhm2yyzthlmtjjotqwyyznpwzjymvhyzgwzgy5njixztvmzwrlzgzmymqxyza3ytg51 AP

    The second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs just got very, very interesting.

  4. Jarrett Jack fires back at Paul Pierce after Deron Williams’ breakout Game 4 performance

    Apr 28, 2015, 11:10 AM EDT

    Deron Williams, Paul Pierce AP

    Williams silenced his critics with a 35-point outing, and Jack had some words for Pierce afterward.

  5. Jason Kidd makes aggressive timeout call late in Bucks’ win over Bulls (VIDEO)

    Apr 28, 2015, 9:50 AM EDT

    Milwaukee Bucks v Chicago Bulls - Game Five Getty Images

    Kidd jumped up and down to make sure to get the timeout he wanted.

  6. PBT Extra: Rockets must adjust to new Mavericks starting lineup in Game 5

    Apr 28, 2015, 8:00 AM EDT

    Dirk Nowitzki, J.J. Barea Dirk Nowitzki, J.J. Barea

    Houston needs to make adjustments to the new Dallas starting lineup.

  7. Portland comes from 10 down in fourth quarter to win 99-92, stay alive in series

    Apr 28, 2015, 2:13 AM EDT

    Memphis Grizzlies v Portland Trail Blazers - Game Four Getty Images

    Without Mike Conley to check him Damian Lillard ran free.

  8. PBT Extra with NBASavant.com: Wizard’s defense peaking at right time

    Apr 27, 2015, 9:01 PM EDT

    Toronto Raptors v Washington Wizards - Game Four Toronto Raptors v Washington Wizards - Game Four

    Washington’s averaged defender distance to the Toronto shooter was 3.55 feet, the closest defense any team played in the first round of the playoffs.

  9. Report: Chandler Parsons to have knee surgery, could require microfracture surgery

    Apr 27, 2015, 7:58 PM EDT

    Dallas Mavericks v Houston Rockets- Game One Getty Images

    The doctor will decide if microfracture is needed while doing a scope.

  10. Cavaliers’ J.R. Smith gets two-game suspension for shot to Jae Crowder’s head

    Apr 27, 2015, 7:17 PM EDT

    Cleveland Cavaliers Vs. Boston Celtics At TD Garden Getty Images

    The Cavs will be without two starters for the first two games of next round.

  11. PBT Extra with NBASavant.com: Draymond Green helped hold Anthony Davis in relative check

    Apr 27, 2015, 6:59 PM EDT

    Golden State Warriors v New Orleans Pelicans - Game Four Getty Images

    Davis was +35 when playing while Green sat, -55 while Green was on the court at the same time.

Featured video

Boston defended LeBron well, it didn't matter
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. R. Rondo (5160)
  2. C. Parsons (4086)
  3. K. Durant (3756)
  4. K. Love (3710)
  5. T. Parker (3575)
  1. M. Conley (3568)
  2. K. Bryant (3564)
  3. P. George (3361)
  4. D. Lee (3304)
  5. P. Beverley (3212)