Darko Milicic Will Take $20 Million From Timberwolves
Marc Cornstein, Milicic's agent, confirmed the deal to FanHouse's Sam Amick.
Earlier in the day, news broke that the Wolves had convinced former second-round pick Nikola Pekovic to take a three-year, $13 million deal. For the next three years, then, Minnesota will be spending about $9 million total on a pair of Slavic centers, one of which was quite good in Europe and the other of which has been a monumental disaster for basically his entire seven-year career. The Wolves and their supporters will rally 'round the idea that Milicic, who was acquired in a completely hilarious deadline deal for Brian Cardinal last February, improves the team despite his reputation.
In the 18 games Darko started for Minnesota late last season, the team went 1-17, a winning percentage of .056. He has proven over his NBA career he has no offensive skill whatsoever; of all NBA players who have seen 5,000 minutes of playing time since 2003-04, Darko has the 14th lowest True Shooting percentage, outpaced by noted offensive cesspools Willie Green, Jarvis Hayes, Kareem Rush and Jason Hart. (And this despite Darko rarely shooting the ball.)
Last season, of the 23 7-footers who played at least 600 minutes, Darko had the seventh worst defensive rebound rate. (In case you were unaware, defensive rebounding is a big part of, um, defense.) Milicic is slow, even for a thick 7-footer; as such, his man and help defense rely solely on his decent clip of blocked shots. Otherwise, he's really got no skills at the NBA level. He blocks a few shots. That's it.
That's not worth $20 million if there were the promise of upside ... or if Darko had played like gangbusters in his short Minnesota audition last season ... or if the Wolves didn't have another center on the roster ... or if Darko were considered a low-key, low-maintenance good guy to have in the locker room. Darko wouldn't be worth $20 million over four years if all those items were true. And all those items are false.
Cornstein holds that Milicic and Minnesota general manager David Kahn -- who has become a running joke in NBA writer circles over the past year, beginning with the Point Guard Internment Draft of 2009 -- will be vindicated on the court.
"I'm sorry to hear that (Kahn is being criticized) if that's true. I think it's underserved, and that this will play itself out," Cornstein told Amick. "I have an obvious bias here, but I think it will wind up being a great deal for them. He's 25 years old, and this is the first place in seven years where the team -- and when I say team I mean the head coach, general manager, everybody -- has tremendous belief in him.
"I think he's going to reward them greatly. I think we have tremendous amount of appreciation for way Kurt Rambis resurrected his career, and I fully expect him to reward them. ... The only way we can change public perception is with action, and Minnesota has stepped up to the plate and Darko will too."
FanHouse NBA writer Sam Amick contributed to this report.