Sixers Push Andrei Kirilenko To Play

The Sixers have asked Andrei Kirilenko to report to the team, but he continues to hold out, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. The 33-year-old forward, whom Philadelphia acquired via trade from the Nets on December 11th, hasn’t appeared in a game since November 13th as he tends to a family medical issue involving his wife. The Sixers are willing to make some accommodations for him so he can deal with the matter, but they believe that the short distance between New York, where the Kirilenkos live, and Philadelphia should allow him to play, Wojnarowski adds.

Sixers GM Sam Hinkie has informed the Marc Fleischer client that the team doesn’t intend to waive him, Wojnarowski hears. Rumors before the trade indicated that the Sixers were poised to release Kirilenko shortly after they obtained him, but instead Philadelphia has hung onto him, and the team would like to trade Kirilenko at the deadline, as John Gonzalez of reported earlier this month. However, most other teams are set against trading for him because they believe he’ll simply become available as a free agent at some point this season, according to Wojnarowski. Kirilenko is in the final year of a contract that pays him a guaranteed $3.326MM this season, but it’s unlikely that Philadelphia will fail to either waive or trade him before the deadline, Wojnarowski writes.

Kirilenko has reportedly targeted February for a return to action, but he’s subject to a fine or a suspension if he doesn’t report to the Sixers. Players acquired via trade during the season have 48 hours to report, a threshold that Kirilenko has long since crossed. Both the league and the team may levy punishment if he continues to sit out, since failure to report following a trade is one of the rare instances in which a player is subject to a double penalty, as Larry Coon’s Salary Cap FAQ points out.

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