The Warriors just finished their season three weeks ago, but Golden State has a hot off-season trade rumor before it's even the off-season. Multiple NBA sources are saying that the Warriors hope to spring a trade for Utah forward and three-time NBA All-Defensive Team player Andrei Kirilenko.
Marcus Thompson acknowledges the rumors in a piece about the Warriors' front office in yesterday's Contra Costa Times. "Chatter is circling about the Warriors' possible interest in acquiring Utah forward Andrei Kirilenko," writes Thompson. "Speculation abounds about what the Warriors will do with their lottery pick next month — use it or trade it."
The Times piece indicates the Warriors would consider trading their first round draft pick in the 2009 NBA Draft for Kirilenko. We won't know where the Warriors would be picking until the NBA Draft Lottery May 19, but they figure to end up in the top ten.
It begs the interesting question of whether the big Russian known as "AK-47" is worth a top ten pick. He's a known quantity still ostensibly in his prime, and will bring reliable defense, rebounding, and shot-blocking. But he was an 11-points-per-game player last year, and there are at least ten good, exciting players in this draft.
Dime Magazine spins these rumors into a far more value-conscious trade -- Kirilenko for Corey Maggette. Dime notes a report from the Salt Lake Tribune that the Jazz had sought Maggette as a restricted free agent from the Clips in 2003 and again this past summer.
Kirilenko would bring a special legend with him if he joined the Warriors. Namely, the "freebie" arrangement he has with his wife. Kirilenko's wife, Russian pop star Masha Kirilenko, allows AK one "freebie" exception on keeping his marital fidelity vows per year.
Hey, Kirilenko! How many "freebies" does SHE get?
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who is actually kind of liking the cheesy pop track on his wife's web site.