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NBA free agency: Andrei Kirilenko signs with the Nets

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The Nets got better on Thursday.

USA TODAY Sports

Andrei Kirilenko opted out of $10 million with the Minnesota Timberwolves earlier this offseason. On Thursday, he signed with the Brooklyn Nets for the mini mid-level exception.

Kirilenko's deal is for three years and will start at $3.18 million, according to Howard Beck of the New York Times.The third season will be a player option.

It certainly seems like AK-47 could have gotten more money elsewhere; hell, he walked away from $7 million this season to go from Minnesota to Brooklyn. Of course, there's a connection to the Nets in that owner Mikhail Prokhorov is a fellow Russian. That's enough for me to start thinking about under-the-table payment conspiracy theories, but YFBB already called me Ricky "Chicago Sports Guy" Simmons on Twitter, and honestly, it really hurt. FINE, I guess you can't put a price on happiness and this is a totally fair deal. Whatever.

I am personally not happy about this because I think it makes the Nets really good. The Nets might have been really good already, but I thought those old dudes would inevitably get hurt. AK-47 is great insurance, in that he can play the three or the four if they need him to.

Man, Brooklyn is going to be a tough out. The top of the Eastern Conference is wide open, in my opinion. What do you think?