Ken Berger of CBSSports.com confirms a New York Post report that the Nets have reached an agreement with forward Andrei Kirilenko on a two-year deal for the mini-mid-level exception. It's a stunning development after Kirilenko opted out of his final year with Minnesota for $10 million. So either the market was much dryer than he thought, or he wanted to take a paycut to play for what he considers a championship contender.
The move gives the Nets a versatile defender who's able to do just about everything you could want defensively and spread the floor, as well as bring another veteran voice to a locker room full of them. There are essentially no weak links in the Nets' first seven players.
The question will be how the lineup shakes out. Kirilenko brings a lot more to the table than Paul Pierce at this point. Could Paul Pierce, "The Truth," actually be coming off the bench next season? If not, Kirilenko is being under-utilized. Regardless, expect to see a lot of lineups with Kirilenko at the four and Kevin Garnett at the five, even with Brook Lopez's spectacular play over the past year.
This is a big move for Brooklyn, as they got a guy on the cheap to sign to be a part of a championship contender. It moves them closer to that level of contender I wrote about them being short of Wednesday. The Nets are all-in on this season, especially with their money. Mikhail Prokhorov wants a championship and will pay whatever is necessary to get it.
Kirilenko averaged 12 points, six rebounds and three assists last year with Minnesota in his first season back in the NBA after playing in his native Russia for several seasons.