Andrei Kirilenko’s name came up in the now-dead four-team Carmelo Anthony to the Nets deal.
It’s going to come up a lot this season in a lot of trade talks — he has a $17.8 million expiring contract. He is the perfect guy to bring in for teams because he can give you some points and shot blocking now then take a bunch of salary off the books at the end of the season.
But if you want the Jazz to trade him, you’re going to have to blow then away with the offer. General Manager Kevin O’Conner told the Salt Lake Tribune they may not move him at all, they may want those points and blocks and big savings themselves.
“The way Andrei has played for us in the past and the way he played in the preseason, he’s a real key to our team,” O’Connor said. “He really competes.”
For a lot of GMs, this talk would simply be posturing to get a better deal. With the Jazz and their conservative, steady nature they may well not trade him. They like the consistency. Especially if they could re-sign him at the end of the season to a more reasonable deal.
And Kirilenko is down with that
“It’s so tough to predict what will happen,” Kirilenko said. “… But the Jazz are definitely my first choice because I have spent so much time here.
“I have the friends here. I have kids in the schools. It would be tough to leave. … [Any] offer I get coming from the Jazz will be looked at first.”
So if you’re going to get AK-47 out of Utah, you better come big and serious. The Jazz are not going to move him just because.