No such news or rumors that the Lakers were after him but if they wanted to, he seems content to play in Russia.
Deseret Morning News: Another day and another report has come out in a Russian news source telling of Andrei Kirilenko’s discontent in Utah.
And this time, Kirilenko, the national hero for leading his country to the recent European championship, indicates that he wants to stay in Russia rather than play for the Jazz.
“I want to do what I enjoy doing, and I think the emotions that I experienced with the national side are worth going back to Russia and playing there for Russian supporters,” Kirilenko told the Sports Express newspaper in Russia, which has both English and Russian editions, in a story published Thursday.
The complete article can be found at english.sport-express.ru/news/13_1223.
Jazz vice president of basketball operations Kevin O’Connor has reiterated several times in the past few days that they expect Kirilenko to be at training camp, which begins Oct. 1 with media day in Salt Lake City before practices start on Oct. 2 in Boise.
Kirilenko, the Jazz’s highest-paid player, is still under contract with Utah and couldn’t join and start playing for a Russian professional team without some sort of arrangement with the Jazz as per FIBA rules. Kirilenko is scheduled to make $13.71 million for the 2007-08 season in Utah with his contract running through the 2010-11 season. In all, Kirilenko, a “max-money” NBA player, is scheduled to make about $63 million during the remainder of his Jazz contract.