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:
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.