MIAMI - The 76ers' honeymoon with Andrei Kirilenko is over.
After showing patience for two weeks, the Sixers are asking him to report and start playing games.
The Sixers were expected to waive the forward shortly after they acquired him in a trade with the Brooklyn Nets on Dec. 11. But a team source said the team wants to keep the 6-foot-9, 235-pounder for now and see where things go.
His playing would raise his trade value if they wanted to swap him for another asset at the trade deadline in February.
Kirilenko, however, wants to be waived so he can be a free agent. The Russian has been away from the team for "personal reasons."
"I had a great conversation with him when we were in Brooklyn [on Dec. 12] to explore where his priorities are," Sixers coach Brett Brown said. "We have to walk a line of showing him respect to see where his priorities are and appreciating his family situation, and everybody hopes that he can come and be a part of us."
While the team has been supportive of Kirilenko, the source pointed out that 12 days had passed since the Sixers acquired him in a trade. Now, the Sixers expect Kirilenko to be around the team, where he could be helpful.
The source said Kirilenko would have been useful against the Miami Heat at AmericanAirlines Arena on Wednesday night. The Sixers had just eight healthy players.
Brown said he isn't sure Kirilenko will join the team in the foreseeable future.
"Discussions are being had at many levels," he said. "I think I'm not going to be able to reveal too much now. But it's fluid. It's moving, and the element to respecting his situation and trying to figure other things out makes it a little bit complicated."
The Sixers re-signed Malcolm Thomas. The reserve power forward was in Philadelphia on Tuesday and will accompany the team on the West Coast trip, which begins Friday at Portland.
Thomas was waived by the team on Nov. 10. At the time, the 6-9, 225-pounder had been playing with fluid on his left knee. He was released after it was determined he needed knee surgery that would sideline him for four weeks.