Jerry Zgoda missed the entire Kevin Garnett era, but he's back covering the Timberwolves after working the beat for their first four seasons two decades ago. In between, he covered a bit of everything: Gopher men's and women's basketball and NCAA athletics, golf, outdoor recreation, sports media and a little Vikings and Twins.

AK-47: Probably won't decide on contract option until after draft

Posted by: Jerry Zgoda under Wolves players, Wolves news Updated: June 20, 2013 - 1:38 PM

I spoke with Andrei Kirilenko from the south of France just a few minutes ago and he said he probably won't decide whether to pick up his $10 million-plus option for next year until after next week's draft.

Kirilenko has until June 29 to make up his mind, a curious date because it's two days after the June 27 draft.

"I think it will come right after the draft,'" he said of his decision when reached today just after dinnertime in France.

You'd think the Wolves would want to know Kirilenko's status heading into the draft so they can make informed decisions, but that's the date in the two-year contract David Kahn reached with him last summer.

Kirilenko said he hasn't spoken with his agent at length about the matter yet, but plans to do so in the next three to four days.

Kahn's departure and the arrival of new basketball ops president Flip Saunders probably will affect Kirilenko's decision.

Kahn would have been more likely to offer Kirilenko a substantial three-year extension -- maybe even at similar money -- that he is seeking here at age 32.

Saunders might be willing to offer him, say, a two-year deal if Kirilenko opts out of next season, but you can bet it won't be at $10 million per year.

Kirilenko has said he could walk away from that $10 million because this might be the last chance in his career for a multi-year extension rather than take a chance on next summer, when Miami's big three all could hit free agency if each so chooses.

He also has said his family will help make the decision. His three children like living in the United States and he said late last season that they enjoy living in Minnesota.

Denver's Andre Iguodala last week walked away from a $16 million option for next season, but he's also three years younger than Kirilenko.

This, of course, could go either one, but I think Flip's arrival as boss makes it more likely Kirilenko takes the $10 million guaranteed in his pocket and then sees what summer 2014 brings.

 

 

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