When Russian basketball issued its preliminary roster for the FIBA European championships a few days ago, two prominent names were missing, and both had a Nets connection.
Sergey Karasev, who had knee surgery in March, and Andrei Kirilenko, who the Nets traded to Philly last December, were not on the list. Karasev is still recuperating and won't be game-ready. He expects to resume contact drills in August, just before Eurobasket opens in France on September 2. Kirilenko, according to reports, is retiring from the game after 15 years, ending last year with the Nets. He played for CSKA Moscow this year after the 76ers finally waived him, but he had little impact. (Alexey Shved, the Knicks free agent, was selected to Team Russia.)
Karasev still had a bit of a limp Monday as he took some foul shooting drills, according to reports out of the first draft workouts. As his Instagram account shows, he did pretty well
Karasev had told the Russia media that it was possible he could return but would never commit. Russian basketball officials had hoped he could team up with Shved, who had suffered a late season injury.
David Pick, a European basketball writer, first reported that AK-47 was done, tweeting it yesterday, although rumors of his retirement had been around for a while. But in a tweet, Mike Mazzeo said Kirilenko told him nothing is certain, although he is thinking about it.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Andrei Kirilenko via e-mail on basketball retirement report: "It's a possibility, but not certain." Will think about it more over summer.</p>— Mike Mazzeo (@MazzESPN) <a href="https://twitter.com/MazzESPN/status/605730024117944320">June 2, 2015</a></blockquote>
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Kirilenko played in only 52 games for the Nets, missing 37 games in 2013-14 and then only seven games after Lionel Hollins told him there was no place for the then 33-year-old forward. He declined to report to Philadelphia while his wife was experiencing a difficult pregnancy. When he was signed to the $3.3 million mini-MLE in the summer of 2013, it became a big controversy since he had passed on a $10 million player option in Minnesota where he had played well. He was a longtime friend of Mihail Prokhorov, with the two contributing to each other's charities. At least one team complained to the league which did a serious investigation, only to find nothing.
In the trade, the Nets gave up AK-47 and Jorge Gutierrez, sending out the two players, a 2020 second rounder and the right to swap second rounders in 2018. In return, they received Brandon Davies, who was later waived, and two trade exceptions, one worth $3.4 million.
Mirza Teletovic has said his status with Bosnia is dependent on where he signs this summer. Bojan Bogdanovic, who made the all-FIBA Europe team two years ago, will play for Croatia.