Andrei Kirilenko may be returning to the NBA after a one year hiatus. (Bulent Kilic, Getty Images)
Andrei Kirilenko could be heading back to the NBA after a one-year return to his native Russia, according to a tweet from the Salt Lake Tribune's Brian T. Smith.
Kirilenko spent 10 years with the Utah Jazz after being drafted in 2001. He left the Jazz after his contract expired to play for CSKA Moscow while the stalemate in the NBA's labor negotiations continued. Though his contract with CSKA had a clause allowing him to leave the team once the CBA negotiations were resolved, Kirilenko elected to stay in Russia for the duration of the Euroleague season.
Though Kirilenko has spent his entire NBA career with the Utah Jazz, he is not expected to come back to Salt Lake City should he make his return to the league. Instead, the 6-9 small forward has been linked with the Brooklyn Nets - owned by his Russian countryman Mikhail Pokhorov. Though the Nets would only be able to offer Kirilenko the veteran's minimum, he could serve as a solid, dependable role player on a team that will be aiming for one of the top spots in the Eastern Conference.
In his decade of NBA play, Kirilenko averaged 12.4 points and 5.6 rebounds per game and shot a combined 47% from the field.