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Report: Nets investigated, cleared in Kirilenko signing

Sep 16, 2013, 3:46 PM EDT

Andrei Kirilenko AP

When Andrei Kirilenko opted out of a $10 million in the last year of his contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves only to sign a $3.1 million deal with the Brooklyn Nets, a lot of eyebrows went up around the NBA.

Kirilenko, who is Russian, left $7 million on the table to sign with an owner who just happens to be a Russian billionaire? That struck plenty of people around the league as a little more than a coincidence. A lot of people thought there was an illegal side-deal here. They pretty much pictured something like the Russian oligarch from the DirecTV ad, right down to the miniature giraffe.

The NBA investigated the signing and found nothing improper, reports the New York Post.

Kirilenko would be far from the first free agent to misjudge the market (which tightened this year thanks to the increasing luxury tax) and his own worth. Kirilenko’s agent told the Post that the problem was the other offers they had (for more money) involved putting together far more complex sign-and-trade deals, while signing with the Nets put him on a contender on a one-year deal (he has the option for the second) and was doable.

You can choose not to believe that, there are plenty around the league who would join you in your skepticism, but proving it is something else entirely. The league could not do that so AK-47 is part of what is a deep and interesting Nets team this year.

  1. jcmeyer10 - Sep 16, 2013 at 4:10 PM

    That is to say, a pair of blue jeans and 1,000,000 were included with the material being investigated.

  2. antistratfordian - Sep 16, 2013 at 4:57 PM

    If I were Russian I would be offended. I would also be drunk.

  3. asimonetti88 - Sep 16, 2013 at 6:39 PM

    The reasoning behind the suspicious was tenuous at best. There have been American players that have signed under market value on teams that have American owners before, was there investigations of those incidences?

    • dondada10 - Sep 16, 2013 at 7:09 PM

      Yeah but dude in the movies the Americans are the good guys.

      • asimonetti88 - Sep 16, 2013 at 9:20 PM

        lol. Good point.

    • ahmedovic8 - Sep 17, 2013 at 4:55 PM

      Yes. Joe Smith and the Timberwolves.

  4. midnite2020 - Sep 17, 2013 at 2:16 AM

    has anyone takin a look at the heat roster lately?

  5. lakerade - Sep 17, 2013 at 3:47 AM

    Nice Petite Lap Giraffe reference.

  6. metalhead65 - Sep 17, 2013 at 8:01 AM

    what is so hard to understand about this? yes he left money on the table with the timberwolves but he is not getting any younger and wants a shot at a ring. plus 3.5 million is nothing to laugh at. maybe he has been smarter than the average player with the millions he has already made playing and the pay cut won’t hurt like it would it’s 1 year deal,he does well and the nets win he will make more next year elsewhere.

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