Utah Jazz Forward Andrei Kirilenko is headed overseas while the NBA lockout continues to linger.
Kirilenko has signed a three-year contract with CSKA Moscow, which is where he played prior to joining the NBA in 2001. The deal is set up to give him an option to return to the NBA if the lockout comes to an end.
“I am glad to be back with the team where I spent my years of adolescence,” Kirilenko said, according to a news release from the Euroleague. “It’s a pleasure to have a chance to play for Russian fans, my friends and relatives.”
The Jazz star said that he plans to donate any money he earns while playing in Russia, to his charitable foundation.
The 30-year-old Russian is set to become an unrestricted free agent when, or if, the 2011-12 NBA season begins. Although he has shown interest to join a team with a better chance of winning a title, Kirilenko has expressed a desire to stay in Utah.
Kirilenko averaged 11.7 points and 5.1 rebounds despite battling multiple injuries. If the Jazz do resign him, his experience and leadership would be beneficial for the team’s very young roster.