Andrei Kirilenko had fallen out of the Nets’ rotation in the early part of the season, and separated from the team before a West Coast road trip for what was deemed at the time to be “personal reasons.”
Later, it appeared as though Kirilenko’s time in Brooklyn was finished, and that maybe those personal reasons were a way of describing a conflict he was having with Nets head coach Lionel Hollins.
But that doesn’t appear to have been the case.
In checking on the availability of Brooklyn Nets forward Andrei Kirilenko, several contenders were left with the impression that the former All-Star’s desire to tend to a family matter in New York makes a trade impractical for the foreseeable future, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
The Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Clippers are two contenders with needs at small forward who’ll wait to see if Kirilenko, 33, becomes available closer to the NBA’s trade deadline in February, or after a contract buyout later in the season, league sources said.
Kirilenko failed to fit into Lionel Hollins’ rotation, and he separated from the Nets on a recent West Coast trip to administer to a family issue in New York. The Nets have been working to find a team that’ll take the balance of his $3.3 million deal for the 2014-15 season, but a family matter that may require him remaining in New York until January or February could make it difficult for the Nets to trade him soon, sources said.
Earlier reports had teams like the Sixers and the Jazz in trade talks for Kirilenko, but Philadelphia would require draft picks to sweeten the deal, because the tanking Sixers would simply waive him once a trade was completed.
With contending clubs like the Clippers and Cavaliers in the mix, however, things could shift slightly in Brooklyn’s favor. The team won’t be able to get much for someone who’s away dealing with a personal matter and completely out of the rotation, but potentially receiving a future draft pick is a lot better than giving one up. And that (or some young, unproven talent like the players whose names were mentioned in the reported talks with Utah) is about the best the Nets can hope to receive in any such transaction.