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Newz Forum: BASKETBALL: Kirilenko has target date of Oct. 31 for new contract with Jazz

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posted on Oct, 24 2004 @ 08:41 PM
SALT LAKE CITY -- Andrei Kirilenko feels he is close to a contract extension with the Utah Jazz and hopes to have it completed within the next few days.

The Jazz and Kirilenko have until Oct. 31 to agree on an extension for Kirilenko, who is in the fourth-year option of his original contract. If no deal is reached, the All-Star forward will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season -- something both sides are trying to avoid.

"I think we're almost done. I think [in the] next few more days, everything will be done," Kirilenko said Friday before the Jazz's preseason game against Sacramento. "I want to be part of this organization forever -- for my career."

Kirilenko is hoping for the maximum 6-year, $86 million deal, but would not discuss details in the contract or what the holdup has been. He said he and the Jazz are more than 90 percent finished with the negotiations.

Kirilenko's agent, Marc Fleischer, said Friday night that negotiations were still going.

"We're not done. That's all I can tell you," Fleischer said. "There's only nine days left so I'm hopeful we can get it done in time."

Kevin O'Connor, Utah's vice president for basketball operations, said no deal has been reached.

"We've talked and the thing's gone back and forth, but we have no deal," O'Connor said. "Obviously time is becoming a little bit short now."

posted on Oct, 28 2004 @ 02:58 PM
$86 million extension must be signed by Sunday

Andrei Kirilenko and the Utah Jazz have come to terms on a six-year, $86 million max contract extension, sources close to the negotiation told ESPN Insider Chad Ford on Thursday morning. The agreement must be signed by Sunday, Oct. 31, the deadline for players who began their rookie season in 2001 to sign extensions.

Jazz GM Kevin O'Connor declined to comment.

As Insider first reported Oct. 22, the Jazz would defer some of the money beyond the six-year term of the deal. Under collective bargaining guidelines, up to 30 percent of a player's compensation can be deferred. That would allow the Jazz to enjoy a significant savings over the life of the contract. The two sides finished working out the details of the deferred money on Wednesday, paving the way for the deal to be signed this weekend.

The contract would run through the 2011 season.

Kirilenko could become just the third player to get a max extension this offseason. Kobe Bryant of the Lakers and Pau Gasol of the Grizzlies were the others. Gasol has had a portion of his contract deferred beyond the six years of the deal.

While $86 million might seem like a lot of money for a player who averaged 16.5 points and 8.1 rebounds per game, Kirilenko ranked third in the NBA in blocks per game and fourth in steals per game last season -- a rare feat for any player.

The Jazz initially balked at paying the 23-year-old Kirilenko the max but found themselves in a difficult position once Gasol signed his extension. Many league insiders believe Kirilenko is a better player. He already has made the All-Star team, and at least one key stat suggests he's one of the most valuable team players in the league.

Kirilenko ranked fourth in the league last year in the critical plus/minus stat, behind only Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan and Shaquille O'Neal. The plus/minus stat measures how a player's team performs while he's on the floor and while he's on the bench. Because plus/minus has nothing to do with individual statistics, teams value its ability to reflect a player's impact on the game.

So far, only four fourth-year players have signed extensions: Gasol, the Nets' Richard Jefferson (6 years, $76 million), the Grizzlies' Shane Battier (6 years, $37 million) and the Bobcats' Primoz Brezec (3 years, $8.25 million).


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