Andrei Kirilenko interested in coming to Orlando?
According to Wendell Maxey of beyondthebeat.net, the 6’9″ Russian Andrei Kirilenko has the Orlando Magic on his short list of teams that he is intestered in playing for next season. Kirileno will be an unrestricted free agent and has played the last 10 seasons with the Utah Jazz. Known throughout the league as an excellent (help) defender, AK47 never managed to live up to expectations or his bloated salary. After 5 very good seasons, the last 5 have been rather pedestrian. Kirilenko also has not played a full 82 game season since his rookie year. Last year he played/started in 64/62 games while averaging 11.6 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.
How would Andrei fit in with Orlando? Actually, despite not being a serious three point threat, he could be a very nice option off the bench if the price was right. Key point being if he was ok coming off the bench at the 3 and the 4 spot. While Hedo is pretty close to earning his bench spot, I don’t think Stan is ready to lose his ball handling and ability to initiate the offense. Kirilenko’s ability to be a defensive nuisance would certainly come in handy at crunch time to help protect Dwight Howard when D12 is chasing down blocks. I can already see the offense/defense scenarios going through Stan Van Gundy’s head and the flexibility he would bring to the team.
Sportando reported that he would continue playing in Russia with CSKA until he signs a contract in the NBA. AK wants a multi-year deal and is most interested in the Jazz, Nets, Lakers and Clippers beyond Orlando. He would likely be a starter for most of those teams which puts Orlando at a strong disadvantage. The Magic also are well over the cap at the current time and would most likely only be able to acquire Kirilenko in a sign and trade. Although with the inevitable chaos coming on December 9th, who knows?
Would you like to see Andrei Kirilenko alongside Dwight Howard? Financials aside, my answer would be a definite yes.