Andrei Kirilenko signs a 3-year deal with CSKA Moscow, gets an AK-47 as a signing bonus.
Usually signing a 3-year deal overseas at the age of 30 means that he’ll most likely never play in the NBA again, but AK negotiated himself a few opt-out clauses. Zach Lowe from SI.com explains:
The deal gives Kirilenko the right to return to the NBA one month after the lockout ends, a slight tweak on the usual opt-out clause most NBA players have in their overseas deals. But Kirilenko’s deal also gives him a similar out after each of his first two seasons with CSKA, meaning he has negotiated himself a bit of flexibility that most players either don’t have or don’t want.
If I were a betting man, I’d say that AK lands himself a decent Mid-Level Exception (if the MLE still exists under the new CBA) with a contender like Miami, Boston, New York, or even the Spurs, once the season finally starts. In fact, I’ll go as far as saying that Kirilenko is one of the best current NBA players to sign a contract in Europe.
A guy with Kirilenko’s skill set and size is hard to come by and coveted by all. He can defend 3 or 4 positions as well as fill those same positions on the offensive end. Last year he had averages of 11.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.2 blocks per game. Only four other players had averages like that last season; Dwyane Wade, Pau Gasol, Josh Smith and Al Horford. Impressive stuff from one of the most underrated players in the Association.
Photo via @SLCDunk