Brooklyn, NY

Andrei Kirilenko joins the Brooklyn Nets on a two-year contract worth $3.1 million in the first year with a player option for the second year.

The versatile Russian will now back up star forwards Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett in a loaded lineup that could vie for the title this season.

Kirilenko averaged 12.4 points and 31.8 minutes per game for the Minnesota Timberwolves last season. He was an All-Star in 2004, when he averaged 16.5 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game.

The Nets now have a projected starting lineup of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Pierce, Garnett and Brook Lopez, with a bench that features Shaun Livingston, Jason Terry, Kirilenko, Reggie Evans and Andray Blatche.

The team will use its taxpayer mini mid-level exception to bring in Kirilenko, who opted out of a final year worth $10 million with the Timberwolves to play for a contender.

The 32-year-old Kirilenko has ties to Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov, having played for CSKA Moscow (1998-2001), which was formerly owned by the latter.


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