The Warriors are planning to meet with free agent guard Andre Iguodala today in Los cheap jerseys authentic Angeles, according to a team source.General manager Bob Myers will be armed with an offer in the range of $13 to $15 million a year. The deal will also include a third year, which is a big deal since the Warriors will have to sign Klay Thompson to an extension that year. Iguodala, who wanted more than the Warriors’ initial overtures, hit the free agency market with a hopes of getting a lucrative offer. The goal is to put pressure on the Warriors to give him more. He met with San Antonio, a meeting he requested, and Houston, who according to Marc Spears of The Undefeated gave Iguodala an offer. The Spurs are one of the league’s most financially savvy teams, and Houston doesn’t have $10 million to offer Iguodala without dumping more salary. So it doesn’t seem that Iguodala procured the big money deal he was seekingt. Still, the Warriors are prepared to give Iguodala a deal that presumably exceeds what he got on the free agent market so they can keep the 2015 NBA Finals MVP. The Warriors acquired Kevin Durant this time last year with plans for the top six players to stay together. Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and now Shaun Livingston — who signed a three-year, $24 million deal last night — are all under contract. Durant is expected to sign after the Warriors are done making moves. That leaves Iguodala. His return to the Warriors, or not, could be resolved today.
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With Ivan Drago-like hair and a late-career dragon tattoo covering his back, Andrei Kirilenko was one of the more intimidating forwards in basketball. His nickname, “AK-47,” and tendency to swat shots into the stands didn’t soften his image.But these days, Kirilenko is a disciplined family man who moved on to the next phase in his life after finishing his playing days two years ago. While some of his contemporaries have decided to spend their post-basketball lives somewhere warm, Kirilenko, content with how his career panned out, is still working. And when he gets the time, he thinks of Utah, too. Once the proverbial face of Russian basketball on the hardwood, Kirilenko has become the literal face of the Russian Basketball Federation as the organization’s commissioner. Unlike in the United States, where the NBA has been resourceful with the national basketball program in providing assistance, the Russian Basketball Federation operates as an independent entity. Kirilenko’s day-to-day operations as commissioner aren’t outlined like they are for Adam Silver. From managing the people who referee the games to making sure the program’s relationship with the government is consistent, Kirilenko does it all. “It’s a lot of work, and there’s a lot of challenges,” Kirilenko said in a recent interview with the Deseret News. “Being responsible for a basketball program for the whole Russian nation is challenging. There are a lot of directions, and it starts with mini basketball, with children. Then it goes all the way up to the national team.” Beginning Aug. 31, Kirilenko will be in charge of running two Russian national teams for the 2017 FIBA EuroBasket tournament with hopes of earning a spot in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The responsibilities are demanding, but Kirilenko finds it fulfilling. “I knew I couldn’t be a coach. I can coach for a day or two but not for an entire season,” he said while chuckling. “I never thought I’d be in this kind of position, but I knew I’d always be around basketball.” Instead of taking a year or two off from the game, Kirilenko knew he had to thrust himself into a high-pressured situation immediately after retiring as a player. As his friend who retired from the NHL at 40 told him, “when you retire, go work right away.” “When you take a year off anything, you don’t want to come back,” Kirilenko said. “When you’re still playing, you have that work ethic. You’re used to waking up early, going to work and being on a schedule. That was really good advice. It’s helping me right now because I’m still in work and practice mode.” Now that he’s not focused on X’s and O’s, defending Kobe Bryant in the 2009 NBA playoffs or finding a way to integrate himself in the Utah Jazz offense while knowing Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer would remain go-to guys, Kirilenko has taken a philosophical approach to life. As an NBA All-Star, All-Defensive First Team member, Euroleague MVP, Olympic medalist and his country’s flag bearer, Kirilenko doesn’t look back on his career with regret or think about “what ifs.” He simply recognizes the sheer luck it even took for him to get noticed in the first place. “For a kid that grew up in the streets of St. Petersburg, Russia, to come all the way to the NBA and become an All-Star, to go to the Olympics and get a medal, I did a pretty good job,” he said. “But it really depends on your perspective. If you look at it from Michael Jordan’s perspective, I didn’t do anything. But if you look at it as a kid who started playing basketball, it was an exceptional career. I was lucky enough to be the flag bearer in the Olympics for my country. I had basketball represent the whole country. That’s a big deal.” Kirilenko, who plays pickup basketball and practices from time to time, isn’t frustrated by the way his career ended — riddled by injuries, an unforeseen league-wide lockout and a last-minute trade to the historically awful Philadelphia 76ers. “It’s just a career coming to an end,” he said. “Anything you do, whether it’s in business, sports or entertainment, comes to an end. At that point, I just had to finish it. I had a great career, an exceptional career. But it was time to stop and start something else.” Kirilenko, who splits his time between Los Angeles and Moscow, still owns a home in Salt Lake City and reflected on the times he had with the Jazz but more so on the experiences he had away from the games. “My time with the Jazz is a chain of memories, starting with off the court,” he said. “I always mention, my kids were born there. I spent 10 years of my life there and made so many friends. I came to the United States at the age of 20 and didn’t know anything. I got married right before I moved, so I lived a family life in Salt Lake City. It’s a lot of factors. I played in a gym that was legendary. It’s a lot of little memories that I’ll remember for the rest of my life. Salt Lake became my second home.” Last year, the Jazz honored Kirilenko at center court alongside his wife Masha and their kids, presenting them with a jersey in front of thousands of standing fans and Bryant, who greeted Kirilenko and his youngest child after the small ceremony. “The Jazz have always been so wonderful to me, and they’re doing a great job right now,” he said. “I want to wish them luck. They did a great job this season. It’s like a family. It’s a basketball franchise that keeps a certain character. Players that used to play for the Jazz still come back and support each other. It’s very important.” Focused on Russian basketball, Kirilenko doesn’t spend much time thinking in hypotheticals, such as how he would’ve done against Kevin Durant in his prime or what he could have done differently in his decade-long run with the Jazz. “If I changed anything, I wouldn’t have went the path I went,” Kirilenko said. “Those challenges created a chance for me to get better. Those challenges changed my priorities and shifted my mindset. If cheap nba jerseys authentic I could go back, I would put my money in Apple stock,” Kirilenko said with a laugh. “You can’t think about things you should’ve done. If I changed anything, I might’ve not come to this point. It’s important to live through the tough times and go through frustrations.”
During the years treading water in Newark, the Nets talked about Barclays Center as their Field of Dreams: “If you build it, they will come.”“They” were the top free agents, including Kevin Durant. “You” was/is a billionaire Russian owner who recently taught Stephen Colbert how to throw axes against a dungeon wall. “We’re not just part of the conversation, we are the conversation,” CEO Brett Yormark told me just before the arena opened in 2013. Only that’s not what happened. Today, the Nets aren’t part of many conversations. The arena is still very cool. The practice facility boasts a spectacular view of the NYC skyline. But the franchise is still treading water, hoping for much better days. No top free agents are seriously considering the Nets, the worst team in the NBA last season. As the landscape of the league changed — with access for fans reaching all over the world — the change in market from Newark to Brooklyn meant diddly without a built-in base. Which leads us to their very unique current plan, spearheaded by GM Sean Marks. Armed with a glut of cap space in his first two summers, Marks went about building a roster using two strategies: overbidding for restricted free agents hoping the other team doesn’t match (that hasn’t worked in three tries), and trading for players on undesirable contracts cheap jerseys (done three times just this offseason). The latest example of the latter is Allen Crabbe, who was introduced to the media Thursday by the Nets. To Portland, he was a salary dump making too much money (still guaranteed $56 million over the next three years) for very little production (10.7 points and 2.8 rebounds per game last season). To Brooklyn, he’s a starting forward who fits their mold (young with shooting range). “He’ll fit in with guys we currently have on the roster. It’ll open the floor up. Hopefully, it’ll be a fun brand of basketball to watch,” Marks said Thursday. Just don’t get too excited, apparently. “I’m not really, to be honest, focused on the playoffs,” Marks said. “We’re obviously making steps in a direction that hopefully everybody can see. We are going younger. We’ve got a youth movement here.” At this stage, it’s hard to judge Marks and his ambitious plan. In one season at the helm, he put together a team that won 20 games without control of its own draft pick. Anybody could do that as long as the owner is on board. People who’ve worked with Mikhail Prokhorov wonder if he’ll lose patience with the losing, and then revert to what he’s always done when the going gets tough: fire the coach. But as of right now, the Russian ownership hasn’t set any mandates and Prokhorov has stepped away from the spotlight, except for a TV appearance with Colbert and continued rumors that he’ll sell controlling interest of the Nets. Marks, unlike Billy King before him, is enjoying an interference-free rebuild. His misses on the job include letting go of Yogi Ferrell in the middle of last season, just before the guard blossomed into an intriguing prospect with the Mavericks. He also balked last summer at signing Dion Waiters, who then emerged as a top scorer with the Heat. Marks has three players on the roster — Crabbe, Timofey Mozgov and DeMarre Carroll — who own contracts that have far exceeded their basketball production. Much of the GM’s success will be determined by D’Angelo Russell, the young and talented guard he acquired for Brook Lopez. Russell has a reputation of being an entitled diva, but there are good reasons the 21-year-old was drafted second overall two years ago. Regardless, Marks deserves credit for this: he hired an excellent coach in Kenny Atkinson and has tried to surround him with players who fit a system predicated on pace, spacing and 3-point shooting. The Nets are like the D-League Warriors. And to get to this point on the roster, Marks has taken an unconventional route that he wants us to understand is far from his Field of Dreams. “Are we happy? Sure,” he said. “But I think we know we have a long, long way to go.”