Andrei Kirilenko: "I'm staying in NBA. I like Minnesota"

Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

AK-47 says all the right things about staying in Minnesota

As if to short-circuit any questions from beat writers covering the NBA's only Russian-owned team, Andrei Kirilenko appeared to close the door on any move to the Nets next summer. He told Lang Greene of HoopsWorld that he is staying in the NBA and that he likes playing for the Timberwolves. He did admit frustration with the Timberwolves injuries and losing.

"I’m going to stay in the NBA for sure," Kirilenko told HoopsWorld. "There is no doubt about it. I like Minnesota and I like [head coach] Rick Adelman."

"But we really need to get everyone back in the lineup," Kirilenko added while admitting his frustration with Minnesota’s assortment of injuries this season. "It’s hard to play this way."

Kirilenko has a $10 million player option this July, part of a $20 million, two-year deal he signed late in free agency after spending the lockout season with CSKA Moscow. Near the end of July, the Nets made a last minute attempt to sign the 6'9" Russian, but by then all they could offer him was the vets minimum. There was some speculation that AK-47, who's friendly with Mikhail Prokhorov, could opt out, but again, the Nets are limited to offering free agents the mini-MLE, worth $3.09 million.

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