Wednesday , Jun , 20 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Vince Carter & Andrei Kirilenko Staying With New Jersey Nets & Utah Jazz-But For Different Reasons

Carter and Kirilenko will probably be staying put in New Jersey and Utah, but for entirely different reasons … The Nets apparently want VC back, while the Jazz have no choice but to keep AK-47 … Click here for this story and analysis …

Dave D’Alessandro of The Star Ledger reports that Vince Carter will likely resign with New Jersey and won’t leave as a free agent:

Based on those observations, a Nets official, who requested anonymity so as to not compromise the team’s bargaining position, has already reached an inescapable conclusion:

"What it says to me is VC wants things to work out and stick around for a long, long time," he said. "Put it this way: When Jason (Kidd) became a free agent (in 2003), his locker room was cleaned out the next day. Not Vince. He’s not shying away from the organization one bit. There’s no difference in Vince’s feeling about the organization from two years ago, when he was overjoyed."

And even though it is still a bit premature, all signs are that Carter will get everything he wants, give or take a few million.

The Associated Press reports that the Jazz aren’t looking to trade Andrei Kirilenko:

Despite complaints about his playing time and even tears during the playoffs, Andrei Kirilenko likely will remain with the Utah Jazz.

"We’re going to keep him, as far as I’m concerned," coach Jerry Sloan said Monday.

"We’re not looking. I don’t like to trade people," he said. "But we’ve got to do what’s best for the franchise, always."

Kirilenko, Utah’s top draft pick in 1999 and its highest-paid player, averaged fewer than 10 points in 17 playoff games as the Jazz advanced to the Western Conference finals. He made 21.3 percent of his 3-point shots during the season, a career low.

"He’s got to come and play," Sloan said. "I mean, when he doesn’t come and play hard, he can blame it on whatever he wants, but all I can say is what I see on the floor.

"We loved the way when he plays great," the coach said. "And he can be good all the time if he works at it."

My Quick Take: fits in . Both the club and player are comfortable with each other. After all, the Nets aren’t rebuilding anytime soon. Brick City is keeping and giving their version of The Big Three another shot at playoff success.

Carter would be closer to family if he signed with Orlando or Charlotte. But the Nets can offer him the most money. Life is easy catching dime-after-dime from J-Kidd. And he gets along with New Jersey coach Lawrence Frank. All signs point to VC opting out of his contract, but re-signing in Jersey.
’s situation in is much more complicated. AK-47 is scheduled to pull in 54 million dollars over the next four seasons. He also had a poor year, struggling to find his place on a more competitive Jazz team.

Unfortunately, there’s no market for an underachieving forward who earns superstar money. The Jazz know this. So Coach Sloan had to come out and voice support for Kirilenko because Utah can’t trade him.

They’re stuck with each other. For better or worse, till death do them part, or until his massive contract expires.

Personally, I love the Russian’s stat-stuffing game. He can defend, score, rebound, block shots, and legitimately play four positions. Few players possess such versatility.

However, this season proved Kirilenko’s a complementary star. There’s nothing wrong with that-unless, of course, you happen to be the Jazz and are paying him 14 million dollars per season.

So there you have it. Carter and the Nets will likely choose to stay together. While Kirilenko and the Jazz have no choice but to stay together.

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