Andrei Kirilenko could have made $10.2 million in the final year of his contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves, but he has chosen to opt out and become an unrestricted free agent, according to the Star Tribune's Jerry Zgoda. Kirilenko had until Saturday to decide on the option and his agent sent Zgoda a text message in the morning.
Kirilenko likely won't get over $10 million a year on his next contract, but he's hoping for one last long-term deal. The 32-year-old will reportedly be seeking a three or four-year deal.
The Wolves could still re-sign Kirilenko, but Zgoda believes Flip Saunders won't offer the small forward anything more than two years. If Kirilenko goes elsewhere, Minnesota could possibly use that extra money to pursue a starting shooting guard or small forward in free agency or via trade. Dallas Mavericks unrestricted free agent O.J. Mayo is said to be a likely target.
Minnesota also drafted a possible replacement in UCLA wing Shabazz Muhammad with the No. 14 pick in the NBA Draft. The selection of Muhammad seemed to be an indicator that Kirilenko would choose to opt out.