There’s probably a joke in here somewhere about Mikhail Prokhorov, scopes, and AK47′s but there’s no way I’m putting that one together. The former owner of the Russian superpower CSKA Moscow usually gets what he wants, and in this case he wants fellow countrymen Andrei Kirilenko to join him in Brooklyn. The Russian baller spent ten years in the League, but as since played for CSKA. He had a solid season last year, and has a number of NBA suitors at the moment. The Golden State Warriors are a team that’s been reportedly interested in Kirilenko, in addition to the Brooklyn Nets.
As far as Brooklyn’s desire to bring Andrei back to the U.S., ESPN.com’s Marc Stein has the following:
The Brooklyn Nets are making a hard to push to bring Andrei Kirilenko back to the NBA despite their limited salary-cap flexibility, according to sources close to the situation. After spending well over $300 million in guaranteed contracts this offseason, Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov is trying to convince his countryman to join the Nets now that Kirilenko has announced in Russia that he wants to return to the NBA after a successful season with CSKA Moscow.
Sources close to the process told ESPN.com that Team USA guard Deron Williams, though abroad on national team duty, is part of the recruiting effort on Kirilenko, his former Utah Jazz teammate. The 31-year-old spent 10 seasons with the Jazz before joining CSKA Moscow in his native Russia. Not immediately clear, though, is the number of teams that are part of the race or whether Kirilenko is indeed willing to play for a minimum salary a la Antawn Jamison, who recently made that sacrifice to join the Los Angeles Lakers.
Kirilenko is a solid player who should be in the NBA, but at 31-years old I’m not sure how much of a difference-maker he’d be. He’s certainly a rotation player for most teams, but probably not a fringe starter. Nor is he a player who would simply round out your 12-man active roster either. Somewhere in between all that to be sure, and most likely the 7th or 8th man out in Brooklyn if he lands there. Probably the same if he ended up in Golden State. I imagine that Brooklyn has the edge right now, with the entire CSKA organization probably telling him everyday that he should go sign with Mkihail. I’d bet his first year salary next season that’s where AK47 lands too. Good to have one of the best NBA nicknames ever back stateside.