While Flip Saunders went in search of 3-point shooting, he lost out on J.J. Redick, rebounded nicely with Kevin Martin, and paid a bit much to retain Chase Budinger.
But he thumbed his nose at Andrei Kirilenko. After breathing a sigh of relief when AK opted out of the second year of his 2-year, $20 million deal, Flip took the gift and got to spend on his free agent fixes.
Kirilenko opted out of $10 million in the name of the security of a longer deal. So all you homer Vikings fans yelling ‘Good riddance! If you don’t wanna be here, WE DON’T NEED YA!!!’. — GIVE – excuse me — give it a rest. AK wanted 3 years and $7 million, that’s not a bad price for a savvy combo forward. Had the Spurs been able to swing a sign-and-trade, they would agree.
The Wolves reportedly offered him the MLE, AK’s camp laughed at them, and that was that. If this is true, I don’t know why, but I feel a lot better about Corey Brewer at 3-years, $5 million per, being a backup plan. Although, Brew as a Plan B doesn’t exactly scream WINNING STRATEGY, but whatever…
This saga ended when Mikhail Prokhorov decided to court a league investigation. Andrei Kirilenko accepted the mini-exception, an offer of $3.1 million to play for the Russian Billionaire in Brooklyn, New York.
I always thought Andrei’s glue would work well beside Kevin Love’s inside-out game and a shooting guard who could shoot. I thought there could be flex enough to make up for Ricky Rubio’s lack of outside accuracy. Never got to see it in action, but it doesn’t matter now.
The possibility Rick Adelman signed off on moving on from AK is a possibility fraught with speculation. Is Rick tired of injuries and choosing durability? We’ll see how that works out this year. In the meantime, the Nets just got a lot smarter.