When Andrei Kirilenko left the Nets for what the team was calling “personal reasons” a couple of weeks back, Brooklyn head coach Lionel Hollins sounded as though he was unsure if Kirilenko would return.
That put the trade rumor machine into motion, even though a report emerged later that said Kirilenko was dealing with a family issue which would keep him away from basketball for the foreseeable future.
ESPN’s Marc Stein reported that a deal with the Jazz, where Kirilenko played his first 10 NBA seasons, might make some sense. It was shot down by the Nets, but has now resurfaced once again.
It’s “very possible” that the small forward, who spent the first 10 seasons of his NBA career in Utah, will be traded to the Jazz by the Brooklyn Nets later this month, a source told the Deseret News.
In exchange for Kirilenko, the Jazz would send seldom-used forward Jeremy Evans and offseason acquisition Toure’ Murry to Brooklyn.
And just like last time, a Brooklyn source says it isn’t happening.
Jody Genessy, Jazz beat writer for the Deseret News is quoting a “source” Saturday that it’s “”very possible” that Andrei Kirilenko could be dealt to Utah for Jeremy Evans and Toure’ Murry, both seldom used bench players. However, league sources familiar with Kirilenko’s situation shot the rumor down. Its the second time the rumor has arisen and second time it’s been shot down.
Round and round we go.
If you believe that where there’s smoke there’s fire, then this may make some sense. And, the Nets could certainly use some young and inexpensive talent to develop for the future.
But what this will come down to is whether or not Kirilenko is physically and mentally available to play for a new team. If he is, a deal may get done at some point — if not with the Jazz, then with a contending team hoping to add a productive piece to its roster that can contribute when the postseason comes.