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Kirilenko to be traded, waived; could he land with the Clippers?

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Andrei Kirilenko was once among the best perimeter defenders in the NBA. He'll soon be a free agent, and when he's ready to play again, he could be a good fit for the Clippers.

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Andrei Kirilenko, who had fallen completely out of the rotation in New Jersey, has been traded by the Nets to the Philadelphia 76ers for former Clipper training camper Brandon Davies. Davies is actually incidental in all of this -- the Sixers have to put something in the deal. This is about New Jersey saving luxury tax, and the Sixers gaining some assets, though frankly, they didn't seem to get a lot for the multi-milliions it's going to cost them to waive Kirilenko.

But ignoring all of that, this deal could be significant in Clips Nation, as the Clippers could be a very logical landing place for AK47. Perimeter defense, and small forward in general, are massive problems for the Clippers, and while he may not be the player he once was, he would no doubt still rank as the best wing defender in LA. He certainly isn't as quick as he once was, but It's not like he's lost any of his length.

According to reports, Kirilenko is dealing with some personal issues, and does not appear to be in a hurry to join any roster. So while he'll clear waivers and become a free agent in a matter of days, it could be more like months before he's willing to suit up.

When he does want to play again, the Clippers won't be the only team interested. Adrian Wojnarowski, who broke the trade, floats the Cleveland Cavaliers in addition to the Clippers as an interested party. Kirilenko has been a major cog for the Russian National Team for years, where he was coached by current Cavs coach David Blatt. So that might have some pull for him. But if it's a role he seeks, the Clippers would make a lot more sense. He would likely find himself starting in playoff games with the Clippers -- in Cleveland, this kid LeBron something would be ahead of him on the depth chart.

Either way, today's trade is just the first move and while it's interesting, it's not ultimately that important. Kirilenko was likely going to be available eventually regardless -- he'll be a free agent a lot sooner now, though he may not actually be signed any sooner. He's out there -- but the Clippers will continue to wait for their coveted upgrade at the three.