The San Antonio Spurs' exploration of acquiring free-agent forward Andrei Kirilenko in a sign-and-trade agreement with the Minnesota Timberwolves has passed without completion, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
The Spurs seriously considered a multiyear offer for Kirilenko, but Minnesota general manager Flip Saunders has shown little, if any, inclination to assist him in securing a significant financial contract elsewhere, sources said.
San Antonio envisioned Kirilenko, a 6-foot-9 forward, as an ideal fit for its system. He's a gifted scorer, passer and shot blocker, and is able to defend multiple positions.
There were possible combinations of Spurs assets that appealed to the T'wolves, but ultimately Minnesota was unable – or unwilling – to take back the contracts on what could've been an $8 million to $9 million annual salary agreement for Kirilenko, league sources said.
The Spurs reached agreement with two free agents, guard Marco Belinelli and forward-center Jeff Pendergraph. The Spurs lacked the salary-cap space to make a run at Kirilenko without the use of a sign-and-trade.
The T'wolves wanted to keep salary-cap flexibility to make several free-agent signings, including Kevin Martin and Chase Budinger. The T'wolves are still chasing Denver Nuggets free agent Corey Brewer, sources said.
Kirilenko opted out of the $10 million owed him in the final year of his contract and has been searching for a multiyear deal.
The Oklahoma City Thunder tried to orchestrate a sign-and-trade with Minnesota to gain a trade exception for losing Martin on a four-year, $28 million deal, but Minnesota hasn't been eager to reach an agreement, league sources said.
Minnesota discussed sign-and-trade possibilities with Denver on Brewer, but the Nuggets aren't interested in bringing back the guards – Luke Ridnour or J.J. Barea – that the T'wolves would've parted with to pay Brewer an annual salary in the $5 million range, sources said. The Nuggets had shown a strong interest in re-signing Brewer, but have been unwilling to go so high on an offer to him, sources said.
Brewer is engaged in talks with several teams around the league, but is doubtful to return to Denver now, sources said.
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