The Brooklyn Nets managed to sign small forward Andrei Kirilenko to a $3.18 million deal. This comes on the heels of Andrei Kirilenko opting out of a $10.2 million dollar contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
That is $7.02 million he left on the table. It doesn’t make sense.
NBA teams have reportedly asked the league to investigate any “side deals” between Kirilenko and his fellow Russian native and Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov.
Within the NBA, there had long been those promising that deals would start popping up involving Prokhorov that made no fiscal sense, theorizing that high-end players could take less within the constraints of the salary cap and still make up the difference in clandestine pacts.
“Brazen,” one Western Conference GM told Yahoo! Sports.
”Let’s see if the league has any credibility,” one NBA owner told Yahoo! Sports. “It’s not about stopping it. It’s about punishing them if they’re doing it.”
Another Eastern Conference GM: “There should be a probe. How obvious is it?”
The telephone calls and text messages kept coming on Thursday night and Friday morning, and the reason was simple: Few trust Prokhorov to honor the NBA’s salary-cap rules and regulations. He made his $15 billion fortune in the wild 1990s in Russia in what he called, “cowboy territory with no sheriff.” Bribes were part of the business culture, and Prokhorov confessed to his part in it.