Old Team: Minnesota Timberwolves
New Team: Brooklyn Nets
Role: Sixth man
Best Case Scenario: Kirilenko becomes the “super sub” that the Brooklyn Nets are going to need — he’s able to fill multiple roles. He remains healthy and is able to do the Kirilenko-type things — rebounding, blocked shots, forcing turnovers and simply moving without the ball to create easy opportunities. The best case scenario statistically is that Kirilenko will play, at least, 70 games during the regular season (something he hasn’t been able to do since the 2008 campaign), average 10+ points and 5+ rebounds per game. He needs to leave his stamp on the floor every time he checks in. He will be the Nets “glue guy”, in other words.
Worst Case Scenario: When talking worst case scenario’s with Kirilenko, it always comes back to health. In this situation, Kirilenko will fail to play 70 games, once again. Without his availability, the Nets will look incomplete. Brooklyn will be missing their do-everything glue guy and their bench will suffer tremendously. Kirilenko will fail to average 10+ point points per game for the first time in his career since his 2007 season with the Utah Jazz, the Nets won’t be what everyone thought they would be.
What Will Really Happen: I’m not going to say that Kirilenko is going to play 82 games, he’s only done that once in his career. Kirilenko will play somewhere between 60 and 70 games and will be just what the Nets need coming off the bench — the intangibles guy. He’s going to bring hustle, work ethic and all the little things it takes to be successful, and possible make a championship run. He’s going to be really good defensively, forcing the opposition into difficult shots and forcing turnovers. He’s going to be in some closing lineups, especially against small-ball teams. Kirilenko will not disappoint on the stat sheet or on the court (he rarely does). It’s safe to say that the Nets success will depend on how much of an impact Kirilenko will have this season, maybe not entirely but to a certain extent.