Kirilenko to return next season, but will Love and Roy join him?


Jan 19, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves small forward Andrei Kirilenko (47) congratulates Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Chris Johnson (20) following a dunk against the Houston Rockets during the fourth quarter at Target Center. Timberwolves won 92-79. Mandatory Credit: Greg Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Last summer, forward Andrei Kirilenko signed a two-year $20 million contract with the Timberwolves with player option for the second year of the deal.

Kirilenko, who took a year off from the NBA and played last season in Russia, appears refreshed upon his return and is having an outstanding season for Minnesota this year, raising speculation that he may exercise the player option and opt to become a unrestricted free-agent at the end of the season to land a more lucrative contract.

That is not the case.

Kirilenko intends to play out the second year of his contract with the Timberwolves next season, according to Lang Greene of HOOPSWORLD.

"“I’m going to stay in the NBA for sure,” Kirilenko told HOOPSWORLD. “There is no doubt about it. I like Minnesota and I like [head coach] Rick Adelman.”"

What remains to be seen is if forward Kevin Love and guard Brandon Roy will be playing alongside Kirilenko next season.

Love has continued to voice his displeasure with ownership and management, and it will be interesting to see if he will be traded in the summer. The All-Star forward has a player option in 2015, so he could leave Minnesota after next year and become a unrestricted free-agent and sign with any team.

Roy signed a two-year deal with the Timberwolves last summer, but is continuing to have problems with his degenerative knee condition. The second year of his contract is not fully-guaranteed, with a clause related to his knee condition.

Kirilenko, 31, has been the team’s most consistent player this season, missing only a handful of games due to a back injury. He is shooting a career-best 51.5 percent from the field so far this season.