NBA fans and owners alike were up in arms when Andrei Kirilenko signed with the Brooklyn Nets early in the offseason. The apparent complain was that the franchise owned by Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov indulged in an under-the-table deal in acquiring the Russian forward.
Name: Mikhail Prokhorov Age:47 Net Worth: $13.2 B Russian owner of New Jersey Nets
However, the National Basketball Association (NBA) has found no irregularities in the acquisition of Kirilenko, according to a report from Fred Kerber from the NY Post.
“It was a very, very thorough investigation,” according to Kerber’s unnamed NBA source. “When there is a formal complaint, the league will look into it.”
In an apparent move to address the issue, league sources said that an investigation was indeed launched and went as far as Nets officials being summoned over the summer.
The point of contention rooted from the fact that Kirilenko signed for a $3.1M mini-midlevel exception contract even though the 11-year-pro had roughly $10M left in his deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Kirilenko had a player option on the final year of the Minnesota contract but chose instead to move to Brooklyn, which is set to pay him $6.4M over the next two years.
“Let’s see if the league has any credibility,” an unnamed NBA owner said at the height of the signing during the off season. “
Kirilenko’s camp explained that Kirilenko was looking to play for a legit contender and the situation in Brooklyn provided that.
“That was huge,” Marc Fleisher, the agent of Kirilenko stated at the time of the deal, “especially once he realized some of the other [offers] weren’t going to happen.”
In an apparent ultimate-win-now move, the Nets acquired veterans Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry by trading away Gerald Wallace, Kris Joseph, Kris Humphries and three future first-round picks to the Boston Celtics.
Kirilenko played for the Utah Jazz in his first 10 years in the league before signing with Minnesota for the 2012-13 season. He has career averages of 12.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.9 blocked shots per game.
In Brooklyn, Kirilenko is expected to play a role off the bench, backing up the forwards Garnett and Pierce.
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