Andrei Kirilenko, an unrestricted free agent after completing his contract with the Utah Jazz, is considering signing with a club in Russia or Spain, according to an interview published in a Russian newspaper and translated by TalkBasket (via HoopsHype). Unlike players under contract in the NBA, as a free agent Kirilenko has no legal hurdles to signing with a European club. The only concern would be cashing in on another NBA contract should the 2011-12 season move forward.
The Russian league, which has a number of high-profile teams that compete at Europe's highest levels, would seem a natural fit. But Kirilenko says he'd consider the ACB, Spain's top league and what's considered the top domestic league outside of the NBA, as well.
Due to the lockout I have the opportunity to play for my friends, relatives and Russian fans who live in Russia. They would love to see me playing in Russia. Of course I'm not considering only Russia, but for example ACB too. That's the strongest European league. I would like to test myself there. But it's still early to talk about any particular teams. My agent is going through the teams so that he can suggest a shortlist of teams I could be interested in, in a couple of weeks.
Spain figures to be a popular destination if NBA players -- free agents or otherwise -- migrate to Europe in droves during the lockout.