Year-Round News & Updates on the Minnesota Timberwolves
No Nicolas Batum, no problem! The Minnesota Timberwolves are finalizing a deal with forward Andrei Kirilenko on a two-year deal, estimated to be worth around $20million ($10million a year).
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter) he says the second year could be a player option. I don't think that matters much, considering there's little doubt he'd leave $10million on the table, to likely sign a mid-level deal elsewhere.
Does that mean I think they overpaid? Yeah. However, he fills a big need. His best position may be more power forward, however it's certain he'll be starting at small forward for Minnesota, next season.
Will they start a guy they're paying $10million (AK47) or a guy they're paying just under $900,000 (Budinger)? Fair enough.
Although he'll start at small forward, there's a good chance he'd shift to power forward, with Love at center in certain rotations.
Kirilenko didn't play in the NBA last season. Due to the lockout, he took his talents overseas to CKSA Moscow (the same team Alexey Shved played for). Prior to that he was drafted by the Utah Jazz in 1999 as the 24th overall pick and spent 10 years there.
He's a versatile forward that can do a little bit of everything. Some of his career averages (in 10 years w/the Utah Jazz): In 681 games, he shot 47% FG, 31% 3PT, 76% FT, 5.6rpg, 2.8apg, 2.0bpg, 1.4spg and 12.4ppg.
Obviously AK isn't going to be a 20-point scorer, but he'll contribute 10-12 points a night, a couple steals, blocks and lead the charge as the defensive force for Minnesota. At least we hope so...for $10million a year.
He was reportedly weighing a one-year offer from the L.A. Lakers for the veteran's minimum ($1.3million). Who knows why he took Minnesota's offer? I guess that's the $8.7million question! :)
With this signing we also saw the departure of Wesley Johnson. Johnson went to the Phoenix Suns as a part of a three-team deal. Robin Lopez and Hakim Warrick went from Phoenix to New Orleans in this trade and Minnesota got Jerome Dyson (I assume he'll be waived) and a couple 2nd round draft picks.
Ironically the second round draft picks Minnesota gets are the same ones that they traded to New Orleans along with Brad Miller a couple weeks back. Brad Miller (or his contract, rather) did go to Phoenix in this trade.
So, a bit of a recap of Minnesota's offseason. Welcome Chase Budinger, Dante Cunningham, Robbie Hummel (likely), Andrei Kirilenko, Brandon Roy, Alexey Shved, and Greg Stiemsma. Goodbye Wayne Ellington, Martell Webster, Brad Miller, Darko Milicic, Michael Beasley, Anthony Randolph, Anthony Tolliver (likely) and Wesley Johnson.
It's sounding as though, with this AK47 signing the Timberwolves are done making moves. Beyond of course finalizing deals for Greg Stiemsma, Brandon Roy, Robbie Hummel and Andrei Kirilenko.
That's all for now, thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
A TWolves fan, bringing you the daily updates.