It’s not often you see a player leave a one year deal worth $10 million for a one year deal worth $3 million – especially a player who’s only 32 years old. But that’s exactly what Russian born small forward Andrei Kirilenko did when he opted out of his deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves and signed with the Brooklyn Nets yesterday.
This coming from the same guy who went back to Russia during the height of his career because he couldn’t find a contract he felt he was deserving of in the NBA.
So now after leaving the Timberwolves for the Nets, owned by fellow Russian Mikhail Prokhorov, NBA teams are feeling a bit slighted and wondering if some shenanigans aren’t going on behind closed doors.
While extremely difficult to prove, assuming the accusations are true, NBA teams have asked the league to investigate the Nets according to Yahoo Sports:
The insinuations are unmistakable: Around the NBA, there are calls for the commissioner’s office to investigate the possibilities of side deals and Russian rubles ruling the day – for now, unfounded charges based on circumstance and appearances.
The NBA has of course came across teams working side deals before (namely the Minnesota Timberwolves/Joe Smith), but they’re few and far between and this unlikely to result in much of anything, but it’s still an interesting development.