Having missed out on Portland Trail Blazers free agent Nicolas Batum, the Minnesota Timberwolves moved on to a surprising second choice. The Timberwolves are close to signing former Utah Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko to a two-year, $20 million contract, according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski. The second year is a player option.
Kirilenko last played in the NBA during the 2010-11 season. Last year, he starred for Russian power CSKA Moscow, and he exercised his buyout to return to the NBA. He will likely play at small forward for the Timberwolves next year, though he could also slide inside to be a power forward in some lineups.
The Timberwolves cleared away enough cap space to sign Kirilenko when they traded Wes Johnson and a first-round pick to the Phoenix Suns in a three-team deal. Johnson had been a disappointment since being picked with the No. 4 selection in the 2010 NBA Draft.