Atlantic Rumors: Kirilenko, Sixers, Nets, Knicks

Earlier reports have suggested that Andrei Kirilenko would be interested in playing again in February, once a family matter involving his wife is resolved, but it’s an iffy proposition whether Kirilenko will play at any point this season, USA Today’s Jeff Zillgitt hears (Twitter links). Sixers officials are trying to convince Kirilenko that he should remain with Philadelphia once the trade goes through, though he’s not pleased with the idea, as John Gonzalez of CSNPhilly.com hears (Twitter link). The Sixers, who see Kirilenko as a valuable asset whom they could flip at the February 19th trade deadline, according to Gonzalez, would ultimately have the power to keep Kirilenko on the roster this season no matter how he feels about it once the Nets trade is complete. However, it looks as though they’d prefer to give his roster spot to someone they could put on the court if Kirilenko’s not willing to play for them. There’s plenty more on the Kirilenko trade amid the latest from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Nets have an agreement to sign a player to fill the roster vacancy that the Kirilenko trade is set to create, tweets Robert Windrem of NetsDaily . That advances an earlier report from Tim Bontemps of the New York Post, who heard the team had someone lined up for that opening (Twitter link). The identity of the soon-to-be signee is unknown, but it’s not an eye-catching name, according to the NetsDaily scribe.
  • Brooklyn will be able to create a $3.3MM trade exception from the Kirilenko deal, a league source tells Windrem (Twitter link). The precise value of that exception will probably be $3,326,235, equivalent to Kirilenko’s salary, since the identical minimum salaries of Brandon Davies and Jorge Gutierrez would essentially cancel each other out, but that won’t be entirely clear until after the trade is official.
  • Knicks teammates Carmelo Anthony and Tim Hardaway Jr. confirmed that they engaged in an argument during last week’s loss to the Nets, but they don’t think it’s emblematic of a rift between the two of them, as a report Wednesday portrayed it to be. Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com has the details.
  • Anthony also denied that other players are holding him entirely responsible for the team’s struggles, and he also says that he and the other Knicks players don’t harbor doubts about the triangle offense, as Begley relays in the same piece.

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