DECEMBER 5th, 6:24pm: Jody Genessy of the Deseret News (Twitter link) reports that league sources have informed him that it is “very possible” the Jazz will acquire Kirilenko in exchange for Evans and Murry when the players are eligible to be dealt on December 15th. The Russian forward had returned to the Nets on December 1st after leaving the team to deal with an undisclosed family matter back in New York. This absence clouded the trade talk surrounding Kirilenko, since teams were unsure if he would be willing and able to report to them in the event of a deal.
4:22pm: A source tells the Nets Daily scribe that the Nets and the Jazz haven’t spoken about Kirilenko, and a second source also casts doubt on Stein’s report, Windrem also writes.
NOVEMBER 24th, 8:37am: One of the options in play for the Nets should they opt to trade Andrei Kirilenko would be swapping him to the Jazz for Toure’ Murry and Jeremy Evans, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Such a deal couldn’t take place until December 15th at the earliest, because Murry signed with Utah in the offseason. The Utah possibility advances the notion that the Sixers aren’t the only team in the mix for the 33-year-old Russian-born forward. Reports Friday indicated that preliminary talks had taken place between Brooklyn and Philadelphia, but little progress has taken place in those discussions, according to Dei Lynam of CSNPhilly.com.
Nets swingman Sergey Karasev was also a part of the conversation involving the Sixers, but Stein didn’t mention him with regard to the Jazz. The Russian ownership of the Nets is enamored with Karasev, who like Kirilenko hails from their country, writes Robert Windrem of Nets Daily. That’s a sentiment apparently shared by others around the league, as an NBA front office source suggested to Lynam that the Nets would probably be able receive a future first-round pick for Karasev, while another told her that Brooklyn was more likely to merit two future second-rounders for him. The Nets are on the lookout for draft picks and are unlikely to relinquish the ones they already have, particularly their first-round picks, according to Windrem, and teams are offering picks for Kirilenko, Windrem writes in a separate piece. The Cavs are reportedly sniffing around Kirilenko, but it’s not clear if they’re among those putting picks on the table.
Murry has been on D-League assignment since November 13th, averaging 14.5 points in 30.3 minutes per game for the Idaho Stampede. The second-year guard has yet to play in a game for Utah after spending last season with the Knicks and signing with the Jazz in the offseason for two years and $2MM, with only $250K of this year’s $1MM guaranteed. Evans, a combo forward, is in his fifth NBA season, all of which have been with the Jazz, and he has seen just 13 minutes of action across five appearances for Utah so far this year. He’s making nearly $1.795MM in fully guaranteed salary in the final season of a three-year contract.
Kirilenko makes more than $3.326MM in fully guaranteed salary this season on an expiring deal, so the structure of the possible Utah swap would be a money-saver for the Nets in raw salary as well as luxury tax. He makes about $531K more than Murry and Evans combined, and the Nets could save more if they cut Murry after they traded for him. Murry will have earned more than his $250K partial guarantee by December 15th, but the Nets could still save about $712K of his $1MM salary. Brooklyn would have to drop a player to accommodate such a deal with Utah, since they’re at the 15-man roster limit, as our roster counts show. It’s unclear if the Jazz, Kirilenko’s original team, would waive him after acquiring him as the Sixers would reportedly be likely to do.