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Andrei Kirilenko Suspended From Team, Sixers May Have Gone Back On Agreement To Waive Him

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The Sixers are playing hardball and do not look good doing so.

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Bob Ford, who wrote a crackpot article on a "search" for Andrei Kirilenko not long after the Sixers acquired the veteran forward, now has a scoop on him. He reports the Sixers reneged on an agreement to waive him:

...there are lingering hard feelings about how it played out and unsettling questions from some league sources about the way Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie handled the deal.

According to two sources with inside knowledge of the negotiations, the Sixers had agreed to release veteran forward Andrei Kirilenko after the trade was consummated, but did not follow through on that handshake deal. Kirilenko, who played only seven games with the Nets this season, remains on the Sixers roster but has refused to join the team despite a request to do so.

And then it looks worse - the Sixers then suspended Kirilenko for not reporting, and are withholding his pay, per Woj:

Yeah, not a great look for the Sixers and Sam Hinkie. As a reminder - Kirilenko's absence was initially due to his wife's pregnancy complications. He also has no interest in playing for the Sixers, and wants to still be paid in full. I broke down all the complicating matters here.

Kirilenko's suspension means the Sixers picked up a roster spot to acquire Jared Cunningham two days ago, who they subsequently waived.

For a small chance at a second round pick and some dollar savings, this probably isn't worth it. Assuredly it's all business, but at this point the losses are mounting, and public perception is taking a turn, though especially in Ford's article there may be a few agendas being told through the reporter. We'll have more later and bring you any updates on this as they become available.

And the Sixers play the Nets tonight, Kirilenko's old team. So the saga may come to the forefront tonight.

UPDATE: Adrian Wojnarowski has a longer write-up at Yahoo Sports on the ongoing Kirilenko ordeal.

After Philadelphia and Brooklyn completed the Kirilenko trade on Dec. 10, Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie repeatedly expressed to Kirilenko's camp that there were no immediate plans to release him and asked Kirilenko to report to the team.

It's not a direct contradiction to the "handshake agreement" Ford reported, but it does stress that the Sixers acquired Kirilenko with no plans to release. So take that for what it's worth.

UPDATE UPDATE: From our friend John Gonzalez of CSNPhilly.com and Sixers Pre- and Post-Game Live on Comcast SportsNet: