NBA Rumors: Why Andrei Kirilenko Would Be A Great Fit For The Minnesota Timberwolves

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Andrei Kirilenko wants to make a comeback to the NBA and he has narrowed his options to the Minnesota Timberwolves or the Brooklyn Nets. It seems more likely that the Timberwolves would land him over the Nets because of salary cap flexibility. He would be a tremendous fit for the Timberwolves but how did we even get here?

Currently, there is a trade rumor that has the Phoenix Suns sending Robin Lopez and Hakim Warrick to the New Orleans Hornets with the Phoenix Suns receiving Wesley Johnson and a first-round pick from the Minnesota Timberwolves.

This deal would free up more cap space so that the Timberwolves could make a serious offer to Kirilenko.

Let’s look at what Kirilenko brings to the table:

Season Tm G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
2001-02 UTA 82 40 26.2 3.5 7.7 .450 0.3 1.2 .250 3.5 4.5 .768 1.8 3.1 4.9 1.1 1.4 1.9 1.3 1.9 10.7
2002-03 UTA 80 11 27.7 3.9 8.0 .491 0.5 1.4 .325 3.7 4.6 .800 1.8 3.4 5.3 1.7 1.5 2.2 1.7 2.3 12.0
2003-04 UTA 78 78 37.1 5.3 11.9 .443 0.9 2.6 .338 5.0 6.4 .790 2.9 5.2 8.1 3.1 1.9 2.8 2.8 2.2 16.5
2004-05 UTA 41 37 32.9 5.0 10.2 .493 0.6 1.9 .299 5.0 6.3 .784 2.2 4.0 6.2 3.2 1.6 3.3 2.2 2.5 15.6
2005-06 UTA 69 63 37.7 4.9 10.6 .460 0.5 1.7 .308 5.0 7.2 .699 2.3 5.7 8.0 4.3 1.5 3.2 2.9 2.3 15.3
2006-07 UTA 70 70 29.3 2.8 6.0 .471 0.2 1.1 .213 2.5 3.4 .728 1.3 3.4 4.7 2.9 1.1 2.1 1.9 2.5 8.3
2007-08 UTA 72 72 30.8 3.8 7.6 .506 0.6 1.6 .379 2.8 3.6 .770 1.7 3.0 4.7 4.0 1.2 1.5 1.9 2.3 11.0
2008-09 UTA 67 10 27.3 3.8 8.5 .449 0.3 1.1 .274 3.6 4.6 .785 1.3 3.5 4.8 2.6 1.2 1.1 1.8 1.9 11.6
2009-10 UTA 58 35 29.0 4.2 8.3 .506 0.4 1.5 .292 3.0 4.0 .744 1.3 3.2 4.6 2.7 1.4 1.2 1.4 1.8 11.9
2010-11 UTA 64 62 31.2 4.0 8.5 .467 0.6 1.5 .367 3.3 4.2 .770 1.6 3.5 5.1 3.0 1.3 1.2 1.8 1.8 11.7
Career 681 478 30.8 4.1 8.7 .470 0.5 1.6 .312 3.7 4.8 .763 1.8 3.8 5.6 2.8 1.4 2.0 2.0 2.1 12.4
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/25/2012.

He would fit in extremely well at small forward for the Wolves with his jack-of-all-trades game. He’s extremely active on the defensive end and would give the Wolves an experienced perimeter defender.

Offensively, he’s not a great jump shooter but he has the ability to get to the paint and is a serviceable free-throw shooter.

With the return of Ricky Rubio, the Timberwolves offense could be extremely dynamic and dangerous. Wouldn’t Rubio and Brandon Roy in the back court, Kirilenko on the wing, Kevin Love at the four and Nikola Pekovic at center be a force to be reckoned with in the Western Conference?

The specific numbers aren’t being discussed right now but it would certainly be in the two or three-year range. At age 31, it will probably be the last deal Kirilenko signs.

The old adage, “if you build it, they will come” applies here. Bring in Kirilenko, keep Love happy and watch the Wolves go deep into the playoffs.

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Tags: Andrei Kirilenko Minnesota Timberwolves NBA NBA Free Agency Nba Rumors

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