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Kirilenko Signs for Minnesota Timberwolves

© RIA Novosti . Alexey Filippov / Go to the photo bankAndrei Kirilenko
Andrei Kirilenko - Sputnik International
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Russian basketball star Andrei Kirilenko has signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves, the NBA team said Friday.

Russian basketball star Andrei Kirilenko has signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves, the NBA team said Friday.

The team did not specify the terms of the contract, which is reportedly a two-year deal.

“Over his time in the NBA he has proven to be one of the best defensive players in the world,” Minnesota president of basketball operations David Kahn said on the team website.

“His ability to play multiple positions and big-game experience will be wonderful assets to our team.”

Kirilenko is the Timberwolves’ second Russian signing of the summer after guard Alexey Shved, who Kirilenko played alongside at CSKA Moscow last season, with the pair teaming up again for the Olympic tournament.

Shved said that coach Rick Adelman was the biggest factor in him signing for the Timberwolves, and Kirilenko agreed.

“The Wolves have one of the best coaches in the league in Rick Adelman and I feel my game fits in well with his style of play,” Kirilenko said on the team website.

Kirilenko had also been linked with the Brooklyn Nets, owned by Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov.

At the age of 16, he became the youngest player in Russian Super League history when he debuted for Spartak St. Petersburg in 1997, before moving to CSKA in 1998.

Kirilenko spent 10 seasons with the NBA's Utah Jazz from 2001 to 2011, becoming an NBA All-Star in 2004.

He returned to Russia with CSKA during last season's lockout, and stayed until the end of the season as the team reached the Euroleague final.

On Russia's roster since 2000, Kirilenko won the 2007 Eurobasket with his country and was the part of the team that finished third at the 2011 tournament.

 

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