Andrei Kirilenko remains in NBA limbo, a month after the Nets dealt him to Philadelphia for Brandon Davies and a $3.4 million trade exception. The Russian player had hoped he would be released --and the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that there was a gentleman's agreement between the 76ers GM, Sam Hinkie, Billy King and AK-47 that he would be. Kirilenko didn't any commitment while his wife has been going through a difficult pregnancy in New York
But that didn't happen. Hinkie, the Inquirer reports, apparently reneged on the agreement. He didn't release Kirilenko and instead demanded he report to Philadelphia. That has angered not just the player but King and Nets Russian ownership. The Sixers who have made tanking their strategy this season, want value for him at the deadline in hopes of including him in a trade.
The Inquirer reports...
"He might have an IQ of 150, but [Hinkie] doesn't seem to realize you have to deal with these people over and over," one league source said.
Could Hinkie have misinterpreted or misunderstood the alleged agreement with the Nets, who wanted to satisfy the desire of Kirilenko - a favorite of Russian team owner Mikhail Prokhorov - to become a free agent?
"No," said another source. "I think he started thinking he can just hold onto him and use him at the trade deadline in a package to get something."
Nets general manager Billy King and Hinkie both declined to comment on the record for this story, but a Sixers team source disputed the allegation.
"We made the trade to get the draft pick and in hopes [Kirilenko] might play for us," the Sixers source said. "[Releasing him] was not a condition of the trade, but I have no idea what was said to him on the other end."
Philadelphia has suspended Andrei Kirilenko for failing to report to the team, league sources tell Yahoo Sports. Suspension is without pay.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) January 9, 2015
Sources around the league indicate that Hinkie is also gaining a reputation as someone with whom other teams are leery of doing business. There is always reason to question the motivation of sources, and Hinkie's analytical approach to the game does represent a challenge to the old-boys club's way of operating. But not living up to a handshake agreement, if true, would be a bad way to build relationships.
- Sources say Hinkie reneged on agreement to release Kirilenko - Bob Ford - Philadelphia Inquirer
- Sources: 76ers suspend Andrei Kirilenko for failure to report - Adrian Wojnarowski - Yahoo! Sports
Did the Sixers GM double-cross Andrei Kirilenko? - Jonathan Lehman - New York Post