Andrei Kirilenko Would Not Be Good Signing for Los Angeles Lakers

By Brendan Patel
Adam Hunger - USA TODAY Sports
Adam Hunger – USA TODAY Sports

Forward Andrei Kirilenko has the option to opt out of his contract during the offseason, and will likely do so in hopes of making more money. Kirilenko offers good perimeter defense, something that the Los Angeles Lakers are greatly lacking. But Kirilenko is getting older and has seen his game decline significantly, and the Lakers should not look to offer him during the offseason.

Kirilenko’s calling card has been his ability to provide defense at an exceptional level. His long arms allow him to create numerous turnovers, and there were several seasons where he actually averaged over three blocks a game. This ability allowed him to guard most wing players one-on-one, while also providing excellent help defense. However, as he gets older, he is not as quick as before, and isn’t able to keep up with the younger scorers in the league. His size still gives certain players problems, but they are still able to beat him off of the dribble.

Offensively, Kirilenko has never been a great scorer, but had good vision and was able to present a multi-dimensional threat. He could beat players off the dribble, finish at the rim, or even create for teammates. However, this part of his game has decreased, and he no longer offers much on this side of the court. He is not a very good outside shooter, and turns the ball over at a high rate.

At this point in his career, Kirilenko would not be a good fit with the Lakers. His declining game would not mesh well with the other veterans currently on the team, and his inability to space the floor would hurt the offense. The Lakers need to look elsewhere to find a veteran to add to their roster.

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