The Brooklyn Nets were the subject of a lot of criticism around the league this summer, when the team, owner by Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, landed free agent forward Andre Kirilenko for a suspiciously low amount of money.
The deal raised eyebrows around the league, with many NBA execs suggesting that there must have been some kind of under the table deal between the two countrymen.
Today the NBA league offices stomped out the controversy when they cleared the Nets and their billionaire owner of any wrong doing in the case.
From Russia with … nothing shady.
That was the finding of a “thorough” NBA investigation into the Nets’ summer signing of free agent forward Andrei Kirilenko, multiple league sources told The Post. The league, after getting complaints from at least one other team that suggested improper agreements, examined the signing and found nothing against the rules.
Kirilenko, who made roughly $10 million in Minnesota last season, opted out of the final year of his Timberwolves’ deal and took the Nets’ $3.1 mini-midlevel exception. In doing so, he triggered a wave of anger and suspicion. Rivals owners and executives intimated under-the-table deals existed between Kirilenko and Russian countryman Mikhail Prokhorov, the Nets’ billionaire owner. At least one owner – possibly more – complained to the league.
From the outside looking in it seems like proving that an off the books deal occurred between Kirilenko and the Nets would be extremely difficult for the league. Regardless of how the NBA conducted the investigation, it seems to be a closed case at this point.
When reached for comment a Nets official said of the investigation,
“It was a very, very thorough investigation,” “They checked everything.”