Andrei Kirilenko is one of the best remaining free agents following the first official week of NBA free agency, but the Russian forward is still currently biding his time in Russia as he heals from a broken nose. The veteran defender is drawing considerable interest from the NBA as of late, however, as the New Jersey Nets and Sacramento Kings have both popped up recently.
The Nets, owned by Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, are reportedly setting their sights on the veteran after adding stopgap starter Shawne Williams on Thursday. The Nets used their amnesty provision on Travis Outlaw to remove his contract from the books, clearing $7 million from the team's salary cap.
The Sacramento Kings are also interested. Kings president of basketball operations Geoff Petrie went on the record with the Sacramento Bee earlier this week to discuss his current situation.
"He's still in Russia and he's playing for CSKA (Moscow) and he's under contract over there," Petrie said. "He's in a little bit of a different place in that he's making a significant amount of money right now and when and if he chooses to come back to the NBA at this point we'd still be more than interested in talking to him. But it's still from what I can tell in a holding pattern."
Kirilenko said earlier this month that he'd listen to offers from the NBA, but would be hesitant to leave Russia as his children are enrolled in school and he enjoys his role with CSKA Moscow. The allure of a bigger contract in the NBA could convince him to return stateside, however, where he could enjoy a bit of a resurgence in the right circumstance.