NBA notes: Andrei Kirilenko opts out of final year with Wolves
Andrei Kirilenko is opting out of the final year of a contract that would have paid him $10 million next season with the Minnesota Timberwolves, making him a free agent.
Kirilenko made the decision on Saturday, the deadline that was written into the two-year, $20 million deal he signed last summer, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press. The person requested anonymity because an official announcement has not been made.
In turning down the final year of his contract with the Timberwolves, Kirilenko is instead hoping to get a little extra security with a longer term deal when the market opens at 12:01 a.m. Eastern on July 1.
The versatile forward is coming off a rejuvenating year in which he averaged 12.4 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game for the Wolves, his best season in the league since 2005-06. The 32-year-old had more spring in his step after spending the lockout year playing at home in Russia, and he flourished in Rick Adelman's free-flowing system.
But Kirilenko also missed 18 games with assorted injuries.
Mavs seeking star sidekick for Dirk
Dirk Nowitzki is willing to hop on a plane at a moment's notice. Mark Cuban won't have "Shark Tank" tapings that interfere with recruiting.
The Dallas Mavericks and their star player and owner are ready for a run at Dwight Howard when free agency opens late Sunday night.
It's been two years since the Mavericks dismantled key parts of their only championship team in the name of salary cap space. They are a summer removed from getting spurned by point guard Deron Williams while Cuban was on the set of his reality TV show in their first big pitch with money to spend.
If Howard does the same thing, Dallas isn't planning to wait another summer to give Nowitzki some help so the 35-year-old German can try to remain relevant in the championship picture for his last couple of years as an elite player.
"We made it clear to everybody that we're exploring different options," Cuban told reporters.
Heat's Haslem needs surgery on meniscus
Heat forward Udonis Haslem played through much of the second half of Miami's season with a torn right meniscus, and told The Associated Press that surgery will be required to repair the previously undisclosed injury. Haslem averaged 3.9 points in 75 regular-season games this past season for the Heat, who captured their second straight NBA title.
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