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1 Total Update since September 20, 2012
8 months ago Update 0 comments
Darko Milicic is expected next week to sign a one-year deal worth the veteran minimum with the Boston Celtics, Comcast SportsNet New England's A. Sherrod Blakely is reporting. The news is an update on the free-agent signing of the former No. 2-overall draft pick who will get a guaranteed contract heading into training camp, which begins Sept. 29.
Milicic (7'0, 275-pounds) is a nine-year veteran that spent last season with the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Serbia native was considering playing with Spain, but instead has elected to stay in the NBA for less money.
The 27-year-old center will join a packed Celtics' front court that already features Kevin Garnett, Brandon Bass, Jason Collins, Chris Wilcox and rookies Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo. However, the small contract will allow Boston to cut Milicic with minimal penalty if he fails to make the team.
Since being drafted No. 2-overall by the Detroit Pistons in the 2003 NBA Draft, Milicic has played for five other franchises. In nine seasons, Milicic has averaged 6.0 points and 4.2 rebonds per game.
8 months ago Update 2 comments
Milicic purportedly turned down $6 million over three years with Spanish club Real Madrid in hopes of remaining in the NBA. The Celtics already have a packed front court: Kevin Garnett, Brandon Bass plus first-round draft picks in Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo and backups in Jason Collins and Chris Wilcox. The team has 15 guaranteed contracts, so they would have to release somebody (likely Wilcox, who the team released from a larger guaranteed contract earlier in the year when he was revealed to have a heart irregularity). It's not clear whether the Celtics intend to cut somebody and eat their guaranteed money for Milicic, but if this story is to be believed, that's what they'll have to do. Milicic would certainly seem likely to want something more than a training camp invite if he turned down millions to play in Europe.
Milicic is obviously most famous for being a bust as the No. 2 pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, but he turned himself into a reasonably dependable backup center, averaging at least eight points and five rebounds in 2009-2010 and 2010-2011. Those numbers saw a dropoff this past season, leading the Minnesota Timberwolves to amnesty the $10 million remaining on his deal this offseason. In nine NBA seasons, he's averaging 6.0 points and 4.2 rebounds.