The rich get richer.
Or the rich get poorer, depending on your perspective.
The Nets, already set to pay an unprecedentedly large luxury tax, will add another player who adds to the bill.
Peter Vecsey of the New York Post:
This just in: Nets have signed. Kirilenko for mini mid-level, 3.1M per—
Peter Vecsey (@PeterVecsey1) July 11, 2013
Ken Berger of CBSSports.com:
Kirilenko gets the taxpayer mid-level exception of $3.18M with a player option in year two, league source says.—
Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) July 11, 2013
After opting out of a Timberwolves contract that would have paid him $10.2 million next season, Kirilenko is settling for much less in Brooklyn, though he’ll cost the Nets about five times what they’ll pay him. Maybe the market proved to be tighter than he imagined, but maybe he values playing for a contender,
The Nets – with Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Brook Lopez – already had a formidable starting lineup, and Kirilenko is a major upgrade to a bench that already had Jason Terry and Andray Blatche. Kirilenko looked like he was aging out of the league in 2010-11, but after spending 2011-12 playing in Russia, Kirilenko looked rejuvenated in Minnesota last season, playing his trademark all-around basketball featuring strong defense.
Still, Kirilenko is 32, and it’s possible his production will remain up and down (or decline). But if the Nets can hold off aging – not as easy as it sounds; just ask the 2012-13 Lakers – Brooklyn going to be very good next season.