NBA Rumors Round-Up

NBA Rumors: Kirilenko’s Days in Brooklyn Numbered?

Andrei Kirilenko’s days in Brooklyn numbered? Brendan Haywood knows he’s could be traded. Eric Moreland sent to D-League.

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Andrei Kirilenko’s Days in Brooklyn Numbered?

There is a chance Andrei Kirilenko has played his last game as a Net.

Though league sources indicated Kirilenko’s absence for personal reasons both Friday against the Thunder and Saturday in San Antonio has nothing to do with his lack of recent playing time, the 33-year-old forward clearly has fallen out of Nets coach Lionel Hollins’ plans, and it appears the team soon could be ready to move on.

Sources said no buyout negotiations have taken place, but it’s possible the Nets still could try to trade Kirilenko and his $3.3 million expiring contract.

via Tim Bontemps of the New York Post

This was one of several reports to surface that suggested Kirilenko has played his last game with the Nets and that a trade could be coming very soon.

Another report mentioned the 76ers as a potential trade partner (since Philadelphia will take on contracts and waive them as long as they get a pick or asset back in return), with Sergey Karasev also being mentioned as a possible player who would be included.

As Bontemps noted, Kirilenko is on the final year of his contract and is being paid $3,326,235 this season.

After playing in just seven of 12 games this season for a combined 36 minutes, Kirilenko told reporters he has “no idea” what he needs to do to get back in Lionel Hollins’ rotation.

Hollins said that he isn’t sure if Kirilenko is going to re-join the team, so clearly the situation has gotten bad and he’s upset with being out of the rotation.

All signs point to this ending with a trade or buyout.

Brendan Haywood Knows He Could Be Dealt

He’s well aware that he could be moved at any time and he said it’s something he won’t let bother him.

“I don’t worry about it because at the end of the day, I can’t do anything about it,” Haywood told Northeast Ohio Media Group. “If somebody views my contract as an asset or the team feels they can get something in that can help them or shed salary, they’re going to do what they’re going to do because that’s what they have to do.”

“Executives have jobs to do,” Haywood explained to NEOMG. “They get paid to do their job. My contract is what it is. Worrying about it is not going to do anything about it. If I can’t sleep at night, it’s not like they’re not going to trade me because of it so I might as well go out there, live my life and go on about my business.”

via Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group

Brendan Haywood doesn’t sound like a very attractive trade chip for the Cavaliers, since he’s 34 years old and has struggled to see the floor this year in Cleveland (appearing in only two games). However, it’s the way that his contract is structured that makes him such an interesting asset.

Haywood is being paid $2,213,688 this year, but his salary jumps to $10,522,500 next season and is completely non-guaranteed. That means a team can trade for Haywood and waive him over the summer, creating a ton of cap space.

When Haywood signed this contract, he knew that the deal was being structured like this to make him an attractive trade chip. Scotty Hopson signed a similar deal with Cleveland at the end of last season. At one point, Hopson was on four NBA teams in two days because his non-guaranteed deal kept getting traded. Teams used his contract as filler salary in larger trades, and after his deal had served its purpose, he was waived. He remains a free agent.

Cavaliers general manager David Griffin has made it clear that the team is open to making trades, and Haywood’s contract is inevitably going to come up in their discussions. At this point in his career, it’s highly unlikely that a team would guaranteed Haywood’s $10,522,500 for next season. With that said, it remains to be seen which team will be the one to ultimately waive him and get the salary cap space.

Kings Assign Moreland to D-League

The Sacramento Kings have assigned rookie forward Eric Moreland to the team’s NBA D-League affiliate, the Reno Bighorns, it was announced today by General Manager Pete D’Alessandro.

via Kings press release

Moreland has not seen action in the 12 regular season games with the Kings. The undrafted rookie from Oregon State totaled four points (2-4 FG), five rebounds, one assist and two blocks in 20 minutes in three games off the bench in the preseason for Sacramento.

The 6’10, 218-pound forward has totaled 30 points (.619 FG%, 13-21 FG, 4-10 FT), 26 rebounds, three assists, five steals and one block in 58 minutes in two games for the Reno Bighorns this season.

Moreland has a lot of potential and this will be good for him, as it will allow him to gain experience and get some playing time. He was excellent for the Kings during summer league, and has been impressive in the D-League as well.

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