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Kirilenko considers possible return to the Jazz

Published July 1, 2012 12:01 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Andrei Kirilenko spent 10 years with the Utah Jazz. He left prior to the lockout-shortened season of 2011-12.Kirilenko signed with CSKA Moscow, which recently won Russian League championship and participated in the European Final Four.Over the weekend, Kirilenko told the Russian sports web site sovsports.ru that he is undecided about his future. His options include staying with CSKA Moscow or coming back to the NBA. If he returns to the United States, Kirilenko said his "priority" will be signing with the Brooklyn Nets, who are owned by Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, or rejoining Utah."I haven't decided my future yet," Kirilenko said. "There are 50-50 chances for me to stay or to go. I just want to say that if I stay in Europe, it will be with CSKA Moscow. I won't play for any other team. I am going to weigh my options. It is going to be a very busy summer."Kirilenko, who turns 32 next February, played 681 regular-season games for the Jazz between 2002 and 2011. He averaged 12.4 points 5.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists. But Kirilenko had a difficult time staying healthy. He missed 133 games over his final seven seasons in Utah, including 42 during the last two.Kirilenko's length, ball-handling skills and defensive versatility would help the Jazz, who finished 36-30 during the short season but were swept by San Antonio in the first round of the playoffs. The Spurs beat Utah by an average of 16 points per game and, among other things, exposed the Jazz's need for improved perimeter shooting.During his decade with the Jazz, Kirilenko shot 47 percent from the field, including 31.2 percent from the three-point line.— Steve Luhm




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