Timberwolves Sign Andrei Kirilenko

FRIDAY, 12:31pm: Having finalized the trade that removed Johnson's salary from their books, the Timberwolves have officially announced the signing of Kirilenko (Twitter link).

WEDNESDAY, 4:51pm: The Timberwolves are "finalizing" a two-year, $20MM contract agreement with Andrei Kirilenko, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter). The second year of the deal is expected to be a player option, adds Wojnarowski (via Twitter).

Minnesota is putting the finishing touches on a three-team trade with the Suns and Hornets that will allow the team to clear Wesley Johnson's $4.29MM salary from its books, creating the necessary cap space for Kirilenko. The terms of Kirilenko's deal appear to be a bit higher than originally thought, making him an even tighter fit, as we examined earlier. It seemed as though the Wolves could only afford about an $8MM first-year salary for Kirilenko, but it's possible they could clear additional room by adding players to the three-team trade.

The 31-year-old Kirilenko has averaged 12.4 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game in 10 NBA seasons, all with the Jazz. The Russian forward, who spent 2011/12 with CSKA Moscow, had drawn interest from the Nets and Warriors, but neither team had the capability to come close to a $10MM annual salary. The Nets were limited to giving him the veteran's minimum, while the Warriors are reluctant to use the full mid-level exception, since doing so would push them over the taxpaying threshold.

For the Wolves, the move gives them the sort of long-armed forward they missed out on when the Blazers matched the offer sheet to Nicolas Batum. Though the 6'9" Kirilenko is older, he comes on a much shorter deal and solidifies the team's status as a contender for a playoff spot, answering Kevin Love's recent appeal for a more competitive team.

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2 thoughts on “Timberwolves Sign Andrei Kirilenko

  1. Sky14

    Desperation is a stinky cologne. Kahn is on the hot seat with both his best player (who he insulted with a three year contact) and owner speaking out about their desire to reach the playoffs. After whiffing badly on Batum and missing out on Lee and Mayo, Kahn is hoping to be saved by greatly overpaying AK47.

    • dwarfcatt

      It’s only a 2 year deal. Worst case scenario we have an expiring contract to deal next year. Plus, is it really an overpay when no one else is willing to accept your money to come play in Minnesota? If we need to sign every talented Russian in the world to come play in mini-Sibera – so be it.


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