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MavsFanFinley
02-14-2006, 10:53 PM
Pistons close to deal that would end Darko experiment

By Marc Stein
ESPN.com

Two things it now appears that these Detroit Pistons won't do: Win 70 games or continue the Darko Milicic experiment.

NBA front-office sources told ESPN.com on Tuesday night that the Pistons and Orlando Magic were close to completing a long-discussed trade that would relocate Milicic, 2003's No. 2 overall pick, to central Florida. The trade could be completed as early as Wednesday, sources said, with only one potential snag.

The sides, according to sources, are bartering over the extent of lottery protection Orlando would have on the first-round pick it has agreed to send Detroit along with center Kelvin Cato for Milicic and guard Carlos Arroyo.

It's thought Orlando is seeking to retain this year's first-round pick -- and convey its 2007 first-rounder to Detroit instead -- if the Magic's pick winds up in the top seven of the June draft. The deal would collapse if the sides can't come to a resolution -- with Detroit looking to reduce Orlando's level of protection by a few spots -- but it's clear the Pistons have made the decision to move Milicic before the Feb. 23 trading deadline after giving him a chance to earn a rotation spot under new coach Flip Saunders.

Milicic hasn't played much more for Saunders than he did for Larry Brown, unleashing a new wave of second-guesses on Detroit's decision to draft the Serbian 7-footer over Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade ... even though the Pistons won the championship in Darko's rookie season and came within one game of a repeat title last season.

Yet, even if Milicic had established himself as a rotation regular under Saunders, it's doubtful the Pistons could have afforded to retain him beyond this summer. With Ben Wallace bound for free agency in July and Chauncey Billups expected to seek a lucrative contract extension before becoming a free agent in the summer of 2007, Detroit needs Cato's expiring contract ($8.6 million this season) to create the salary-cap space to re-sign both comfortably and keep together its vaunted starting lineup.

After Wallace and Billups re-sign, all five Pistons starters will possess contracts averaging at least $10 million per season -- an NBA rarity but a necessity for Pistons president Joe Dumars given the success and relative youth (Ben Wallace and Rasheed Wallace are both 31) of the group.

While Orlando continues to explore its Steve Francis trade options, this move would give Milicic a chance to play immediately alongside franchise forward Dwight Howard. It might also eventually give the Magic two highly touted but unproven European big men for its frontcourt rotation, with the Magic still hopeful they will have 2005 first-round pick Fran Vazquez (who controversially elected to play in Spain this season) in the near future.

Marc Stein is the senior NBA writer for ESPN.com. To e-mail him, click here.

Drbio
02-14-2006, 10:54 PM
You are damn fast MFF. I was just about to post this. :)

Dtownsfinest
02-14-2006, 11:28 PM
Milicic hasn't played much more for Saunders than he did for Larry Brown, unleashing a new wave of second-guesses on Detroit's decision to draft the Serbian 7-footer over Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade

My goodness. Hell even throw in Hinrich, Ridnour and J-Ho. Just imagine if the Pistons would've gotten any of those guys. Especially Wade.

capitalcity
02-14-2006, 11:43 PM
Joe Dumars is an average GM.

Dtownsfinest
02-14-2006, 11:53 PM
I gotta disagree. His rarely missed and when he's missed it hasn't really hurt the Pistons.


Traded Grant Hill for Ben Wallace.
Traded for Corliss Williamson who went on to went the 6th man award.
Stole Rip Hamilton for Jerry Stackhouse
Traded a late 1st rounder and got Carlos Arroyo in return.
Got Rasheed Wallace and Mike James for basically nothing.
Drafted Tayshaun Prince and Mehmet Okur.
Signed Antonio Mcdyess who some assumed was finished.
Signed current MVP candidate Chauncey Billups.

Not to mention the last 3 coaches for the Pistons have been Rick Carlisle, Larry Brown and Flip Saunders. I think he's done a pretty good job. Hell outside of the Milicic move what has he done bad?

Thespiralgoeson
02-15-2006, 12:11 AM
I'm still not buying the idea that the Pistons made a mistake in drafting Darko. Hard to imagine Melo, Wade, or Bosh becomming stars if they only play 5 minutes a game in total garbage time. Those guys all got drafted by horrible teams who could afford to put a rookie in their starting lineup and have him be ther no. 1 scoring option. Darko had the bad luck of being drafted by the team that had the best record in the conference the previous year and went on to win the title that year. I hope this deal happens so Darko can finally start his NBA career and have the opportunity to prove that he's not a bust.

Dirkenstien
02-15-2006, 12:19 AM
I gotta disagree. His rarely missed and when he's missed it hasn't really hurt the Pistons.


Traded Grant Hill for Ben Wallace.
Traded for Corliss Williamson who went on to went the 6th man award.
Stole Rip Hamilton for Jerry Stackhouse
Traded a late 1st rounder and got Carlos Arroyo in return.
Got Rasheed Wallace and Mike James for basically nothing.
Drafted Tayshaun Prince and Mehmet Okur.
Signed Antonio Mcdyess who some assumed was finished.
Signed current MVP candidate Chauncey Billups.

Not to mention the last 3 coaches for the Pistons have been Rick Carlisle, Larry Brown and Flip Saunders. I think he's done a pretty good job. Hell outside of the Milicic move what has he done bad?

Good post D-town... but in relation to all of that, drafting Millicic when Wade, Carmelo and Bosh were still on the board is like acing a final exam and then forgetting to write your name on it. That is one freaking huge mistake.

capitalcity
02-15-2006, 12:23 AM
I think he's done a pretty good job....and he has, but Joe screwed the pooch with the 2nd pick in the deepest draft in years.

Color me unimpressed.

Thespiralgoeson
02-15-2006, 12:26 AM
Good pst D-town... but in relation to all of that, drafting Millicic when Wade, Carmelo and Bosh were still on the board is like acing a final exam and then forgetting to write your name on it. That is one huge freaking mistake.

I reiterate. Really, am I the only person that remembers how much buzz there was about Darko before the draft that year? He was already predicted to be drafted either 2nd or 3rd well before the Pistons got the pick. Indeed, the general consensus was that he would've been the no. 1 pick just about any other year, not being in the same draft as LeBron. It was long before the lottery that he was already one of that year's "big three" with LeBron and Carmelo.

Dirkenstien
02-15-2006, 12:34 AM
I reiterate. Really, am I the only person that remembers how much buzz there was about Darko before the draft that year? He was already predicted to be drafted either 2nd or 3rd well before the Pistons got the pick. Indeed, the general consensus was that he would've been the no. 1 pick just about any other year, not being in the same draft as LeBron. It was long before the lottery that he was already one of that year's "big three" with LeBron and Carmelo.

My only response to that is that there better be some pretty high turnover occuring in a lot of teams' souting departments if that was the overwhelming notion preceding the draft. Not to mention the fact that blindly following the general consensus is always a dangerous avenue in the first place.

alby
02-15-2006, 12:37 AM
Arroyo, does this mean Franchise is going for sure. And if so, for who? Looking at the Orlando team which includes Dwight Howard aka future of the NBA imo, they need a star 2 or 3 in return for Francis. I don't know who they can get, I just really want this kid to have a good team around him and not be wasted.

capitalcity
02-15-2006, 12:42 AM
Monday morning quarterbacking is sometimes trite and overblown - in this case however, the scrutiny is deserved. While I agree that Detroit isn't necessarily hurting because of it, blowing the pick he esentially built up the only other team worth a damn in the East.

Joe Dumars took the Pepsi Challenge... and picked Coke.

Hell, since we're second guessing, I think Kiki should've taken Wade over Carmelo.

Dirkenstien
02-15-2006, 12:43 AM
Arroyo, does this mean Franchise is going for sure. And if so, for who?

It certainly does appear that way. Denver seems to be the team showing the most interest right now but they want to unload Kenyon Martin's contract before landing Francis. They'll most likely look for some type of expiring contract so to not ascend past the tax threshold when resigning Carmelo in the offseason.

alby
02-15-2006, 12:44 AM
You can't consider Dumars as just a decent GM. He has built a contender solely based on players that were not wanted by other teams, you gotta give this guy credit. IMO, he is the best GM in the NBA today.

alby
02-15-2006, 12:46 AM
It certainly does appear that way. Denver seems to be the team showing the most interest right now but they want to unload Kenyon Martin's contract before landing Francis. They'll most likely look for some type of expiring contract so to not ascend past the tax threshold when resigning Carmelo in the offseason.

Why would Orlando do that deal though? Why take on K-Mart and his contract when you already have a franchise power forward? Or do you think the K-Mart and Francis deals will be totally separate?

Dirkenstien
02-15-2006, 12:47 AM
Hell, since we're second guessing, I think Kiki should've taken Wade over Carmelo.

How did Wade do in his last college season? I honestly can't remember, however, Carmelo's leading his team to the championship and performing well in the tourney didn't hurt his draft postioning one bit.

alby
02-15-2006, 12:50 AM
Carmelo was a good pick.

Dirkenstien
02-15-2006, 12:51 AM
Why would Orlando do that deal though? Why take on K-Mart and his contract when you already have a franchise power forward? Or do you think the K-Mart and Francis deals will be totally separate?

Orlando doesn't have any interest in Kenyon Martin so the deals will have to either be separate or part of a larger three team trade. Right now New York seems to be pushing for Kenyon's services the most and have the expiring contract (Anfernee Hardaway) to pull a deal off.

alby
02-15-2006, 12:53 AM
According to what I hear out of New York, Eddy Curry and Channing Frye are considered untouchable. Why would they go after a front court player with that type of contract if this was truly the case?

Dirkenstien
02-15-2006, 01:03 AM
New York is shying away from any trade discussions involving Channing Fry mostly because a lot of teams are showing a lot of interest in him. Knick's management is worried other teams see more than they do and are going to hold on to him for now. Larry Brown has stated he is looking for an energetic power forward to line up beside Eddy Curry so to possibly improve his lethargic playing as of late. New York has never been a team to shy away from a big contract, and it looks like Isiah Thomas is going to do whatever neccessary to appease Brown's wishes.

alby
02-15-2006, 01:07 AM
What a joke of a team those Knicks are by the way.

Starbury/Crawford/Rose/Kmart/Curry would be pretty good.

Hell, Starbury/Crawford/Rose/Frye/Curry would be pretty good if they played under a different coach.

capitalcity
02-15-2006, 01:12 AM
How did Wade do in his last college season? I honestly can't remember, however, Carmelo's leading his team to the championship and performing well in the tourney didn't hurt his draft postioning one bit.Dwayne put Marquette on his back and took them to the Final Four. They had a good backcourt with travis deiner, but it was pretty much the d. wade show.

Carmelo wasn't doing it alone. Gerry McNamarra and Hakim Warrick were big contributors on that orangemen team.

twelli
02-15-2006, 01:40 AM
I look forward to watch Darko playing on a lousy team. I wouldn't be surprised to see him become a decent player over the long term.

But maybe, he's just like Kwame...

Dirkenstien
02-15-2006, 01:48 AM
Dwayne put Marquette on his back and took them to the Final Four. They had a good backcourt with travis deiner, but it was pretty much the d. wade show.

Carmelo wasn't doing it alone. Gerry McNamarra and Hakim Warrick were big contributors on that orangemen team.

True, but let's not forget Denver had intentions (and fulfilled those intentions) of landing Andre Miller in Free Agency that offseason. Ofcourse, Wade and Miller would have made a pretty nice backcourt but Denver's frontcourt was pretty pathetic at the forward positions.

Wade is the better player now, but Denver made the right pick at the time.

capitalcity
02-15-2006, 02:13 AM
I'm not really knocking carmelo as much as I'm praising wade.

Wade is a special player - he's the type of guy you take regardless of need.

EricaLubarsky
02-15-2006, 02:44 AM
drafting Milicic was a terrible move, but him along with Aroyo, a guy that Detroit wants gone for a first round pick and Kelvin Cato, who might bring something in limited minutes?

that is genius. Cato for Milicic would have been a good move.

That said, how long until Francis calls U-haul and a moving company?

Arne
02-15-2006, 05:31 AM
I still think Darko Millicic has a great future. Damn, the guy is 20 years old, hasn't had any chance to prove himself, nor a real chance to developpe, since he plays on a team that simply has a very talented frontcourt.

I mean some of these guys in the draft were as old as he is now when they were drafted.
Millicic is even right now one of the best shotblockers in the league with 5.3 BP48M. His time will come.

Give the guy 2 or 3 years on a team that actually plays him and he'll be fine.

Evilmav2
02-15-2006, 07:32 AM
Everything I've read about Darko indicates that the talent that landed him that #2 draft spot is still definitely there, but his attitude, confidence, and work ethic may have been damaged during his first two seasons playing (or usually not playing) under the harsh tongued Larry Brown. I'd bet that a change of location for Darko, coupled with lots and lots of PT might be enough to salvage his career...

jayC
02-15-2006, 11:16 AM
The Knicks are a joke the highest paid team in the NBA only has a two game lead on the expansion Bobcats.

Darko in a lottery bound situation. He might blossom. It is hard to develop projects on a title team. Who was he going to take minutes away from? Rasheed Wallace, Antonio Mcdyess or Ben Wallace. Hell Jermaine Oneal was stuck on the bench behind Rasheed Wallace.

As far as lottery protection goes this year's draft is supposed to be a pretty weak one. In two years it should be a great one with Greg Oden.

Drbio
02-15-2006, 12:43 PM
The Knicks are the laughingstock of the NBA.

I like what Dumars has done in Detroit, but his first mistake was culling Carlisle from the herd. That was probably a bad move. The biggest error is the Darko draft. However...taken as a total package his good deeds pretty solidly outweigh his bad. He's done well in Detroit.

Dtownsfinest
02-15-2006, 01:35 PM
Good post D-town... but in relation to all of that, drafting Millicic when Wade, Carmelo and Bosh were still on the board is like acing a final exam and then forgetting to write your name on it. That is one freaking huge mistake.

LOL. Naw i'm co-signing with you. I agree that was a hell of a F up. That Pistons team could be having a starting lineup of Ben Wallace, Rasheed Wallace, Tayshaun Prince, Dwayne Wade and Chauncey Billups while Rip Hamilton would come off the bench. That would be the scariest team in the league. Joe Dumars shouldn't even get a pass for that. But I give him credit because he took a chance on a 7 footer who he thought had the potential to be a force in this league. And being that they were locked up at about every position they could really go no wrong with that pick. But damn Pistons have to wonder what could've been with Wade on that team.

Dtownsfinest
02-15-2006, 01:37 PM
What a joke of a team those Knicks are by the way.

Starbury/Crawford/Rose/Kmart/Curry would be pretty good.

Hell, Starbury/Crawford/Rose/Frye/Curry would be pretty good if they played under a different coach.


Whooaa now come on now Alby. Under a different coach? Larry Brown is the best coach in the game.

Dtownsfinest
02-15-2006, 01:41 PM
The Knicks are the laughingstock of the NBA.

I like what Dumars has done in Detroit, but his first mistake was culling Carlisle from the herd. That was probably a bad move. The biggest error is the Darko draft. However...taken as a total package his good deeds pretty solidly outweigh his bad. He's done well in Detroit.


I don't think it was a bad move because we all knew the reputation Larry Brown had. It was similiar to Don Nelson's except at that time Larry Brown was going to any team and making them a great defensive team. But I could see how someone would be upset by the move because we also know what Larry Brown does after he's through developing a team. He goes looking for another team to build ala Bill Parcells. Carlisle had no intention of ever leaving the Pistons.

mcsluggo
02-15-2006, 01:59 PM
Anybody remember a 7' gangly German 20 year-old who shot in the .300s over-all and in the teens from three-point-land his first season? (although he did get 20 minutes/game to develop anyhow, because his team sucked at that time.)

It takes a while to adjust to the US game. Darko, may well never "make it", but to call him a bust is ridiculuosly premature.

Drbio
02-15-2006, 02:08 PM
Whooaa now come on now Alby. Under a different coach? Larry Brown is the best coach in the game.

I sure hope that's sarcasm.

spreedom
02-15-2006, 02:57 PM
...and he has, but Joe screwed the pooch with the 2nd pick in the deepest draft in years.

Color me unimpressed.

That is a moot point when the team he is managing has won a championship once, played for a championship twice, and been the best defensive club in the league for 3+ years running.. not to mention they are a shoo-in to make the Finals again this year. How has he done a bad job? Drafting Darko certainly hasn't helped the club, but it very obviously hasn't hurt the club either.

spreedom
02-15-2006, 03:01 PM
Whooaa now come on now Alby. Under a different coach? Larry Brown is the best coach in the game.


Umm.. Rick Carlisle and Gregg Popovich beg to differ..

jacktruth
02-15-2006, 03:10 PM
What is Orlando thinking? Milicic is a bust. Did anybody see him in summer league? Trade an expiring contract for him?

The only reason to trade for him is to suck worse for the rest of the year and win the championship of the lottery. That is why they can't agree on whether to protect the pick or not. They are saying, "after we win the lottery next year, we won't suck as bad they year after that, so maybe you could take that pick."

That is what Orlando is thinking.

DirkGoesNuclear
02-15-2006, 07:20 PM
1. Will Darko turn out to be better, equal, or worse than the Kandiman?

2. Did Detroit pick Darko in their quest to discover the next Nowitzki?

rakesh.s
02-15-2006, 07:42 PM
darko is going to blow up in orlando and take them to the playoffs...write it down, take a picture..

Whenever he was on the court with Detroit, he was always blocking shots and the points he scored were in the post. He can also shoot from the outside.

Watch out for the howard-darko combo on the frontline.

capitalcity
02-15-2006, 07:58 PM
That is a moot point when the team he is managing has won a championship once, played for a championship twice, and been the best defensive club in the league for 3+ years running.. not to mention they are a shoo-in to make the Finals again this year. How has he done a bad job? Drafting Darko certainly hasn't helped the club, but it very obviously hasn't hurt the club either.I think the "he didn't help 'em, but he didn't hurt 'em" argument is pretty lame.

Maybe we're talking semantics, but the way I see it, there are no lateral moves. By allowing other teams to get better (miami/denver/toronto/dallas) he hurt his team. Pointing out the fact that they're a championship ballclub is valid, but shortsighted.

The Pistons are a shoo-in for the finals again this year... I agree. BUT what happens when they lose in the finals again? Ben Wallace and Tayshaun are gonna be wooed by outside teams this summer - they may not be back. There is a very real possibility their window will close without them winning another championship. That would be a shame. And Dumars would be partially to blame for not envigorating his already badass club with even more talent.

Billups and the Wallace boys are both 30 years old. Rip is getting up there too. Wade and Carmelo will still be impacting the league long after some of those "key" contributors have declined or retired.

"The rich get richer." - Well the Pistons didn't. Just because they aren't suffering now doesn't mean they wont regret the move a couple years down the road - it means they can rationalize the f'up easier.

To reiterate - the DEEPEST draft in years - and homeboy blew it. Yes he's made the Pistons what they are today with some great moves, but I think he's probably made the pistons what they'll be in a couple of seasons with one incredibly stupid one.

alby
02-15-2006, 08:20 PM
Larry Brown is the most overrated coach in our era.

Five-ofan
02-15-2006, 10:07 PM
Thank god someone else says it. Ive thought so for a long time. Other than lucking into the pistons how exactly was he any better than nelson?

alby
02-15-2006, 10:49 PM
Didn't Carlisle win that NBA Title in Detroit?...

Thespiralgoeson
02-16-2006, 01:08 AM
Didn't Carlisle win that NBA Title in Detroit?...

No, that was Carlisle's first season with Indiana; when they won 61 games and Artest was DPOY.

I agree that Larry Brown is incredibly overrated, but let's give him some credit. He IS the only coach to have won championships in both the NCAA and the NBA. I don't, however, agree with the general consensus that he's a genius. I never thought he was a better coach than someone like Rick Adleman, let alone Nellie.

4cwebb
02-16-2006, 02:47 AM
To reiterate - the DEEPEST draft in years - and homeboy blew it. Yes he's made the Pistons what they are today with some great moves, but I think he's probably made the pistons what they'll be in a couple of seasons with one incredibly stupid one.

Yet what the Pistons are "today" is a team with an actual title in the last two years, and as good a shot as any team at getting another title this year. If they're not as good three years from now, it won't only be because Joe D. selected Darko. That may be a small contributing factor, but imho not the determining factor.

Agree that the draft was the deepest in years, but other than Lebron, which of the players taken do you actually see willing a franchise to a title all by himself? Wade may be able to do it, but imho few people could've predicted DWade's success at this level this quickly prior to the draft, explaining why Denver and Toronto passed on him as well.

And, let's say Dumars doesn't blow that draft, and instead takes 'Melo (who was clearly the #3 choice after his NCAA tourney run), and was the Pistons supposed "biggest need" at the time with TPrince being the main SF on the team. Does 'Melo then get the playing time of TPrince that first year? If so, who bothers the hell out of Kobe in the finals (one of the main keys to the Pistons winning that title was his defense on Kobe)? In fact, if 'Melo's on that team, the Pistons don't even make the finals b/c no chance in hell 'Melo runs down Reggie Miller from behind and blocks a wide open layup to preserve a victory in the ECF. 'Melo wouldn't have done any of those things. The Pistons as currently constructed have shown they don't need a superstar --- as some main media pundits have argued, allowing a Wade or 'Melo to change the style of basketball that team played could have potentially sabotaged the whole title run in the first place.

If I'm a Pistons' die hard, and the franchise is suffering a few years from now, I certainly don't blame Joe Dumars for picking Darko. Joe D. brought that franchise back from complete Grant Hill-induced mediocrity all the way to the top. I don't see it as a certainty that drafting 'Melo or Wade instead of Darko guarantees that he could've done that, nor do I agree that it would have extended Detroit's run of "excellence" far beyond the next few years.

Thespiralgoeson
02-16-2006, 03:10 AM
Capcity, what you and others say about Dumars drafting Darko, a lot of people said the same thing about Nellie when he drafted Dirk instead of Pierce. Pierce was a proven commodity, and a sure thing, like Melo, or Bosh. Dirk was raw, but had more talent. I think it's safe to say it turned out pretty good for the Mavs. The difference though, is that Dirk, Pierce, Wade, Melo, and Bosh all went to terrible teams. Darko went to a team that, aside from being a championship contender, had a coach that notoriously hates rookies. Really, LB only plays his rookies in New York because he hardly has a choice. I think Darko will be star someday soon, but who knows. The point is, you don't know that he won't be a great player, and so Dumars' choice to draft him wasn't nearly as stupid as you seem to think it is. His logic wasn't at all hard to see, considering that pretty much every other GM in the NBA would've picked him over Wade or Bosh, and most of them would've picked him over Carmelo.

alby
02-17-2006, 12:24 AM
No, that was Carlisle's first season with Indiana; when they won 61 games and Artest was DPOY.

I agree that Larry Brown is incredibly overrated, but let's give him some credit. He IS the only coach to have won championships in both the NCAA and the NBA. I don't, however, agree with the general consensus that he's a genius. I never thought he was a better coach than someone like Rick Adleman, let alone Nellie.

I know. I was trying to give Larry Brown's supposed title win to the one who really deserved it.

Drbio
02-17-2006, 12:27 AM
I wouldn't put Brown in my top 5-7 list of NBA coaches.

atrewsfan
02-17-2006, 12:48 PM
Milicic's upside: Mehmet Okur
Milicic's downside: Nikoloz Tskitishvili

Dtownsfinest
02-17-2006, 01:54 PM
Umm.. Rick Carlisle and Gregg Popovich beg to differ..


Until Rick Carlisle builds a championship caliber team like Brown did in Philly and Detroit, he really can't take the title from Brown. I'd put Popovich in like a 3 way tie with Jerry Sloan and Larry Brown. All are of the same caliber.

Dtownsfinest
02-17-2006, 01:55 PM
Larry Brown is the most overrated coach in our era.


Care to explain? I tell you the term "overrated" is the most overly used word in professional sports. 90% of the time people don't even use it correctly.

I just don't understand how anyone can say the only coach in NBA HISTORY to take 6 different NBA teams to the playoffs should be considered overrated. Its not like he inherits playoff ready teams. He's one of the few coaches who actually leaves a contender and goes to a hell hole and turn them into a contender. I think he's met his match in New York though.

alby
02-17-2006, 02:44 PM
Care to explain? I tell you the term "overrated" is the most overly used word in professional sports. 90% of the time people don't even use it correctly.

I just don't understand how anyone can say the only coach in NBA HISTORY to take 6 different NBA teams to the playoffs should be considered overrated. Its not like he inherits playoff ready teams. He's one of the few coaches who actually leaves a contender and goes to a hell hole and turn them into a contender. I think he's met his match in New York though.

Larry "play the right way" Brown is widely regarded as the best basketball coach in the world by the typical fan. He did such a magnificient job at the Olympics in Athens (sarcasm). Sure, the team had some fundamental flaws, but have you looked at that roster? Let's be honest, most coaches would be able to win at any level with that type of talent. His stubborness and his arrogance was the root of the team's failure and it was truly an embarassment that American basketball followers, like myself, had to experience. He makes over 10 million dollars a year on a team who has just lost 16 of their last 17 games. His only NBA Championship came when he inherited an already contending team from Rick Carlisle. He also inherited a steal in Rasheed Wallce because of Joe Dumars's savvy as GM. How are the Pistons doing without him? That, to me, is considered being overrated.

Dtownsfinest
02-17-2006, 03:19 PM
I don't think that discredits Larry Brown's creditenials because his previous team is doing better without him. Do we discredit what Nellie has done as a coach since AJ has this team playing possibly its best ball ever. So do we dismiss that Nellie was a great coach? What has that 6ers team done since Larry Brown's departure? I also wouldn't underrate how hard it is to coach Rasheed Wallace. A guy who's been on bad teams and has been a troublemaker. He's also been on good teams and has done the same. But he goest to a Pistons team with Larry Brown as coach and all of a sudden the tech's are down. All of a sudden he's playing team ball.

And no way in hell I think you could discredit Larry Brown's creditnals over that Olympic team he inherited. That team was full of drama queens and not enough role players.

Arne
02-17-2006, 04:30 PM
Larry "play the right way" Brown is widely regarded as the best basketball coach in the world by the typical fan. He did such a magnificient job at the Olympics in Athens (sarcasm). Sure, the team had some fundamental flaws, but have you looked at that roster? Let's be honest, most coaches would be able to win at any level with that type of talent. His stubborness and his arrogance was the root of the team's failure and it was truly an embarassment that American basketball followers, like myself, had to experience. He makes over 10 million dollars a year on a team who has just lost 16 of their last 17 games. His only NBA Championship came when he inherited an already contending team from Rick Carlisle. He also inherited a steal in Rasheed Wallce because of Joe Dumars's savvy as GM. How are the Pistons doing without him? That, to me, is considered being overrated.
Flip Saunders had an easy job, that's all there is to say. Larry Brown teached these guys the right fundamentals. He only had to improve certain areas, like offensive schemes and stuff like that.

Don't forget that Marbury has injury problems and that the team had a pretty nice stretch where they were winining five in a row and it seemed like the players had understood Brown.

Anyways, I wouldn't be surprised if this team reaches the playoffs next season.

alby
02-17-2006, 04:36 PM
I don't think that discredits Larry Brown's creditenials because his previous team is doing better without him. Do we discredit what Nellie has done as a coach since AJ has this team playing possibly its best ball ever. So do we dismiss that Nellie was a great coach? What has that 6ers team done since Larry Brown's departure? I also wouldn't underrate how hard it is to coach Rasheed Wallace. A guy who's been on bad teams and has been a troublemaker. He's also been on good teams and has done the same. But he goest to a Pistons team with Larry Brown as coach and all of a sudden the tech's are down. All of a sudden he's playing team ball.

And no way in hell I think you could discredit Larry Brown's creditnals over that Olympic team he inherited. That team was full of drama queens and not enough role players.

Noone refers to Don Nelson as the best basketball coach in the world. This is where I feel that Larry Brown is "overrated". I never said Larry Brown wasn't a good coach, but he doesn't deserve some of the high praise that he gets.

Talent alone, that team should have won gold. Think about it.

Arne
02-17-2006, 04:51 PM
Noone refers to Don Nelson as the best basketball coach in the world. This is where I feel that Larry Brown is "overrated". I never said Larry Brown wasn't a good coach, but he doesn't deserve some of the high praise that he gets.

Talent alone, that team should have won gold. Think about it.
He might not be the best coach, but certainly one of the best.

This "Dreamteam" wasn't build for a tournament with FIBA rules. If he had had Ray Allen or Michael Redd, Larry had easily won it. You need a lot of pure shooters to win in a FIBA game, that's just the way it is. Marbury and Iverson are pure slashers, Jefferson's outside shot was horrible during that tournament and Marion was one of the best outside-shooters... That should say a lot...

Dtownsfinest
02-17-2006, 10:57 PM
Noone refers to Don Nelson as the best basketball coach in the world. This is where I feel that Larry Brown is "overrated". I never said Larry Brown wasn't a good coach, but he doesn't deserve some of the high praise that he gets.

Talent alone, that team should have won gold. Think about it.


A team with players who knows their roles will always beat the most talented to be ever assembled. There's only 1 ball on the court. You can have 12 superstars on the US team but if that team doesn't have chemistry you have nothing. Not to mention what Arne brought up. That team had no shooters on it. Nothing but scorers. No Mike Redd. No Ray Allen. No Billups.

Arne
03-02-2006, 06:00 AM
So here are Darko's stats at Orlando (I didn't include his first game, where he only played 4 minutes...):

8 PPG
6 RPG
2.75 BPG
1.25 APG

and all that in 22.75 MPG, while shooting 63.6% from the field and 80% from the charity stripe.

Thespiralgoeson
03-02-2006, 06:08 AM
As far as I'm concerned, this is his rookie season. Too bad it didn't start in November. Darko Milicic, welcome to the NBA!

Hitman
03-02-2006, 08:20 AM
I honestly think he is going to be a great, great player.

He is 7'1", strong and getting stronger, he can shoot, he has great moves around the basket, he can bang and he can pass.

He just needs to get more experience.

irontoad
03-29-2006, 10:50 AM
So, what do you think so far, after 20 games? Here's his stat line:

21.3 MPG.... .548 FG%.... .556 FT%.... 4.6 RPG.... 1.2 APG.... 2.53 BPG.... 7.7 PPG....

NBA.com doesn't have him ranked with his BPG, but he should be in 6th place in that category... maybe it's because he's played only 20 games?

Definitely look forward to what this kid can do...

orangedays
03-29-2006, 10:56 AM
I'd like to see him be more consistent on the boards, but the last 4 games he's been very efficient from the field, 4 in a row with 10+.

The 2.53 blks number is pretty amazing, especially in 21.3 mpg. It sandwiches him between Elton Brand and Josh Smith on the list (and ahead of players such as Ben Wallace, Emeka Okafor, Tim Duncan, and Dwight Howard).

I think he's for real. Just needs some time for the rust to wear off.

Thespiralgoeson
03-29-2006, 08:55 PM
Pretty solid play from the very moment he got to Orlando. And people tell me that he couldn't "beat out" anyone on that sorry ass Detroit bench? Please...

I'm more convinced than ever. The Detroit Pistons are entirely, and solely responsible for the first two years of Darko Milicic's career being wasted. In two or three years- hell, maybe even next year, I feel very confident that the Pistons will rue and lament the day they traded Darko.

sixeightmkw
03-30-2006, 08:56 AM
I hope he turns out great, that would give me another reason to hate Larry Brown.

atrewsfan
03-30-2006, 01:34 PM
What is his upside do you think? I think he could end being another Pau Gasol or at least Vladimir Radmanovic. At worst, he could end up another Nikolai Tskitishvili.

orangedays
03-30-2006, 01:37 PM
What is his upside do you think? I think he could end being another Pau Gasol or at least Vladimir Radmanovic. At worst, he could end up another Nikolai Tskitishvili.

Darko's already better than 'Skita.

Tokey41
03-30-2006, 03:10 PM
I never understood the media criticism of Milicic... really how could they even judge him when all he was doing was playing garbage minutes? Wheres the logic people!? Just because Detroit had him on the bench it all seemed to be negative feedback but really the guy will be a great player when hes given meaningful PT as illustrated by his career in Orlando thus far.

Everyone knows he never had a chance to prove himself... and when you dont play how do you expect to prove people wrong? You cant. And for the record Brown is a terrible coach, especially when dealing with a rebuilding team when considering his stance on young players. On the positive Milicic got to see some excellent defensive players all year round for two seasons and I remember reading that Ben Wallace had even taken Milicic under his wing in regards to showing him his workouts (it was last year I believe on nba.com so im not going to look for it).

Its sad that I STILL see people saying that Milicic is a bust, lets give him some time in Orlando shall we? Lebron, Carmelo, Bosh, Wade.... they all instantly became starters and quickly go to guys on their teams. What if Milicic had been given that chance? Maybe they should have picked melo, wade, or bosh... but you cant say that for sure yet, so dont.

Orlando lucked out... watch out for them next year with these guys, Nelson and Arroyo, and a pretty good draft pick! I think they will be fun to watch develop.

MavKikiNYC
04-02-2006, 11:01 AM
MAGIC TOUCH By PETER VECSEY

April 2, 2006 -- Orlando future bright with Darko
I'D LIKE to take this opportunity to thank the Mavericks for taking the suspense out of the NBA's last remaining division competition.

Losers of three straight and five of seven, Friday night's 108-99 collapse at Orlando was especially hideous because it wasted Dirk Nowitzki's 38 points and 15 rebounds.
The Magic, meanwhile, are infinitely better than their 29-44 record suggests. Since distancing themselves from Steve Francis, acquiring Darko Milicic, Carlos Arroyo and Trevor Ariza, committing to Jameer Nelson and G'ing up Tony Battie for $22 million over the next four years, Orlando has become what's known outside of New York as a "team."

Let's hear some appreciation for Magic management. Co-GMs Otis Smith and Dave Twardzik, with plenty of input, no doubt, from coach Brian Hill, are re-building the rational way.

Half past their first year in charge, they dumped swollen salaries/egos, established Dwight Howard as the rightful franchise player upon Francis' extradition and took a relatively irrelevant financial gamble by agreeing to assume Arroyo's two-year, $8 million contract as the tax for attaining a luxury item such as Milicic.

Describing Milicic as a luxury item? Only those who haven't closely checked out how the lefty 7-foot, 21-year-old (come June 20) is doing in Orlando think I'm goofing on him. From where I'm scoping, he's an adept shooter, a clever-touch distributor, a skilled rebounder, an adroit outlet passer and a fertile shot blocker. Look, Ma, Darko's fundamentally flawless.

Furthermore, Milicic does something you rarely see anymore: he sets a pick and holds it. What that does, aside from freeing up his teammate, is make him a dangerous receiver the very next time they run the screen-and-roll. Because now Darko's man believes he's going to hold it. Instead, he rolls to the hoop for an open layup and has the hands to catch the pass.

Finally, deep into his third season, I almost grasp what Pistons president Joe Dumars was thinking when he elected to take Milicic No. 2 behind LeBron James, instead of Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh or Dwyane Wade.

"The day we traded Darko I told our media, given the daylight he's bound to get in Orlando, he'll put up 18 points, ten rebounds and four blocks from time to time," said Dumars, whose Hall of Fame selection will be announced tomorrow. So far in 20 games, Darko is averaging 7.9 (55 FG%), 4.7 and 2.4 in 21.4 minutes.

"He has that kind of talent. He just never got the chance to show it here because we had three All-Stars ahead of him, all in their prime. I'm aware what Darko's capabilities are, but over the course of time he became increasingly depressed. He couldn't take sitting anymore.

"... Our media thinks I was blowing smoke, but I knew he was going to fulfill his promise once he cold relax and stop looking over his shoulder when he got in the game."

Orlando's Darko Deal, it says here, will go down in NBA history as one of th league's all-time player-jackings. Even if I'm rowdy wrong, even if Milicic should mysteriously suffer a relapse and turn into another Nikoloz Tskitishvili (No. 5 overall pick in '02 by Denver), his procurement still was meticulously worth the Magic's monetary investment; that's all they really gave. Unlike Isiah Thomas, who misused Penny Hardaway's supposedly precious $15.75 million expiring contract on three more years ($48.5 million) of Francis ("You mean to tell me he couldn't even get Larry Brown a role player he liked for that asset?" wrote LA Times columnist Mark Heisler), the Magic took a low-rent risk on Milicic.

In exchange for Kelvin Cato's virtually vanished $8.6 million salary, the Magic accepted Arroyo's two-year, $4 million-per obligation and Milicic's one year at $5.1 million. If the coaching staff falls out of love with Darko next season, his departure won't leave the franchise capsized a la New York. If he turns out to be a certified center, well, this is how championship contenders are constructed.

Considering Darko's height, age, European training, aptitude and juicy upside, I'm bewildered there weren't a dozen teams vying for his services when, in fact, only two expressed sincere interest. The Raptors and Grizzlies named names. The Timberwolves' lukewarm call was of the "take a look at our roster and see if there's anyone you like" variety.

Remember Raymond Felton? He's the Bobcats guard negligently left off the rookie squad when it played the NBA's sophomores during All-Star weekend. Since February the UNC ring-bearer is averaging a plebe-best 16.4 points and 6.5 assists, up from 8.3 and 4.2 in the three previous months. Not good enough to edge out top rookie lock Chris Paul ,whose Hornets are still in the hunt for a playoff spot, but second best, for sure.

Nate Robinson, as you recall, was anointed to that rookie team, I think for being electrifyingly squat and short-circuited. Friday against the victorious 76ers, in the absence of Francis, Quentin Richardson and ultimately, Stephon Marbury, the adorable head case ballooned for 34 points on 9-14 FG accuracy and 14-15 FT marksmanship.

Some might call that addition by attrition. How does his coach view such a performance? Does Brown think Robinson "played the right way?" How many wins does he predict the Knicks will win with the clueless Robinson leading the clueless in scoring and shots? Had Francis or Marbury put up 34 points and two assists in 43 minutes, would Brown have graded them as playing the right way? When you're the same size as Earl Boykins, is it OK to play like him?

I wonder, do league rules allow Robinson 15 chances to record his third assist?

kriD
04-08-2006, 03:12 AM
Motoring right out of Detroit

Magic's Milicic thrilled to be done with the Pistons

BY JOHN DENTON
FLORIDA TODAY

ORLANDO - Whether he swishes an 18-foot jump shot or swats an opponent's shot, Darko Milicic's facial expression rarely changes.

Milicic is a man of few words and, it seems, even fewer visible emotions. But Milicic, a 20-year-old Serbian, isn't shy about disclosing his feelings when it comes to his past life in the NBA.

If he's going to crack a smile, it's most likely going to come when the topic turns to his fleeing the Detroit Pistons.

Never has a player been happier to leave a 60-win juggernaut for one with little hope of making the playoffs as Milicic was when he was traded from Detroit to Orlando on Feb. 14. To Milicic, his emancipation from the Pistons is akin to escaping from some sort of jail.

For Milicic, tonight's game against the Pistons is sure to stir plenty of emotions. He remains extremely bitter about his doomed stay in Detroit, and quite happy to be in a place where he at least has the chance to play.

"For these three years they killed almost everything in me," Milicic said, referring to the Pistons. "I never got a chance to play. I'd work every morning knowing that I wouldn't get a chance to play at night. That was a killer."

While time away from Detroit has done little to heal Milicic's damaged psyche, playing time in Orlando has seemed to help him immensely. He has blossomed into a steady contributor in Orlando, so much so that the Magic are clearly counting on him to start next season alongside Dwight Howard.

Despite playing backup minutes (21.3) to incumbent Tony Battie, Milicic already has more points (210 to 152), rebounds (129 to 114), assists (37 to 23) and blocked shots (66 to 47) in 22 games with the Magic than he did in three seasons in Detroit. He's scored in double figures 10 times and blocked at least two shots 15 times.

Those numbers are hardly a surprise to Detroit president Joe Dumars, who predicted upon trading Milicic that he would blossom into a top talent in Orlando. Dumars made the controversial decision to select Milicic with the second pick of the 2003 NBA Draft ahead of Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh.

In Dumars' defense, he didn't have power forwards Rasheed Wallace and Antonio McDyess on the roster at the time of that draft -- veterans added later who helped the Pistons win the 2004 NBA title. But those players also turned the promising Milicic into a spare part who rarely left the bench.

In two-plus seasons with the Pistons, Milicic appeared in just 96 games, never playing more than 6.9 minutes a game. Even after a coaching change from Larry Brown to Flip Saunders and a promising preseason (7.9 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.9 blocks), Milicic was sent back to the bench. Not only did his game suffer, but the experience also broke him mentally to the point he was desperate to leave one of the NBA's elite teams.

"It was always the same story," he said. "They told me to be ready and I was. . . . They didn't want me, so I needed to leave."

Carlos Arroyo, the other part of the Magic's trade, saw the toll that not playing took on the 7-foot, 245-pounder. The two often commiserated about their lack of playing time and their desire to go elsewhere so they could play.

"He just wanted an opportunity to love the game again," Arroyo said. "I'm sure he feels like he has something to prove to them . . . probably that they should have played him."

In Orlando, Milicic has displayed the skills that convinced the Pistons to pick him and the Magic to gamble on him. His ability to hit shots from the perimeter has proven the perfect complement to bruising center Dwight Howard. Also, Milicic has surprised the Magic with his nose for the ball and willingness to mix it up inside.

He blocked a career-best five shots in back-to-back games, and his four swats on March 17 helped the Magic block a season-high 13 Boston shots. If he had enough games to quality, his 2.31 blocks a game would rank eighth in the NBA -- one spot ahead of former Pistons teammate Ben Wallace.

After the trade, Milicic did his best to wipe any memories of his time in Detroit. He spent his All-Star break vacationing in South Florida, and said he never returned to Detroit. He sold his home there and has no plans of going back any time soon.

But he says he won't soon forget the experience. The wounds are still too fresh.

"It was tough, but I learned through it and now this is the best for me," he said. ". . .It was a nightmare for me, knowing every night that I wasn't going to play. I'm happy I'm out of there."

Thespiralgoeson
04-08-2006, 12:04 PM
"For these three years they killed almost everything in me," Milicic said, referring to the Pistons. "I never got a chance to play. I'd work every morning knowing that I wouldn't get a chance to play at night. That was a killer."

While time away from Detroit has done little to heal Milicic's damaged psyche, playing time in Orlando has seemed to help him immensely. He has blossomed into a steady contributor in Orlando, so much so that the Magic are clearly counting on him to start next season alongside Dwight Howard.

Despite playing backup minutes (21.3) to incumbent Tony Battie, Milicic already has more points (210 to 152), rebounds (129 to 114), assists (37 to 23) and blocked shots (66 to 47) in 22 games with the Magic than he did in three seasons in Detroit. He's scored in double figures 10 times and blocked at least two shots 15 times.


That pretty much confirms it. I knew I was right when I blamed Darko's wasted two and a half years ENTIRELY on the Detroit Pistons. I kept hearing from people on this board and everywhere else that he couldn't "beat anyone out." Bullshit. He leaves Detroit and what happens? He starts looking like a 20 year old 2nd overall pick. And you're telling me he couldn't beat out Amir Johnson or Jason Maxiel? Yeah right...

dirno2000
04-08-2006, 12:16 PM
"And you're telling me he couldn't beat out Amir Johnson or Jason Maxiel? Yeah right..."

Those guys don't play either...he couldn't beat out Rasheed or McDyess.

mary
07-03-2007, 11:48 AM
Meanwhile, Magic power forward Darko Milicic's agent said Monday afternoon that the club had yet to make contact. Milicic is a restricted free agent, meaning Orlando can match any offer.

The Magic have told Milicic to bring back an offer.

"We have lots of options," said Marc Cornstein, Milicic's agent.

Cornstein said he has heard from "25 teams" since the green flag dropped on the free-agent courting period Sunday.

"There's a lot of interest," he said. "We've had some real offers to sign-and-trade deals . . . everything across the board."

Cornstein seemingly wondered if the Magic were truly committed to re-signing Milicic, a 7-foot power forward.

"We want Darko to go to a team that believes in him and makes him a focal point," he said. "If it's Orlando, great. If it's one of the other 29 teams, then that's fantastic, too."
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/sports/orl-magic0307jul03,0,2090126.story

V2M
07-03-2007, 01:06 PM
I'd give him the full MLE, but I'm sure he'll command a mil or two more elsewhere!

Dr.Zoidberg
07-04-2007, 04:58 AM
Milicic's agent blasts team
Marc Cornstein says Otis Smith lied and pledges Darko will not play for Orlando.

Brian Schmitz
Sentinel Staff Writer
July 4, 2007
http://m1.2mdn.net/dot.gif
The brief basketball affair between the Orlando Magic and Darko Milicic apparently has ended in a bitter, nuclear breakup.

After the club withdrew its qualifying offer to him on Tuesday, Marc Cornstein, Milicic's agent, said there was "no chance" of Milicic playing again for the Magic "as long as Otis Smith is the Orlando Magic's general manager.

"There's no chance. Put it in big capital letters."

Cornstein called Smith a "liar" and said his dealings with Milicic were "deceitful, disrespectful . . . a disgrace."

Smith released the following statement after learning Cornstein blasted him and the Magic: "Our goals remains the same: to sign a free agent and try to retain Darko. It hasn't changed."

Things have apparently changed for Milicic.

He is now an unrestricted free agent and can sign with any team, but Cornstein says Darko doesn't want to play for the Magic -- even if they can trade players to create more salary-cap room on his behalf.

Cornstein said he was particularly upset about how Smith informed him Tuesday of their decision via an e-mail.

"This is how I found out," Cornstein said. "That's how he conducts business."

Cornstein said that after the Magic failed to contact him when the free-agent signing period began, "Darko said he didn't want to play in Orlando anymore. He didn't want to be there in the end because they didn't want him there."

The Magic said that Milicic, 22, was a priority and talked about teaming him with center Dwight Howard.

According to Tony Dutt, Rashard Lewis' agent, the Magic were working on a sign-and-trade deal with Lewis' former team, the Seattle SuperSonics, trying to trade players to make room to re-sign Milicic or sign and trade him elsewhere because they could match any offer. Apparently Smith can't make it work, and the Magic now risk losing Milicic for nothing.

He, along with point guard Carlos Arroyo, was acquired from the Detroit Pistons in 2006 for a first-round pick and center Kelvin Cato.

The Magic pulled its qualifying offer in order to use the cap room to sign Lewis, who orally agreed to a five-year contract Monday.

"If Otis had been a decent human being and said that Rashard Lewis is the player we want the most, even if we have to sacrifice Darko, my reaction would not have been happiness. But I would have said, 'I appreciate you telling me,' " Cornstein said.

"Instead, the guy told us Darko was a priority, and he lied. . . . All stuff that goes around, comes around."

Perhaps there was more behind the Magic-Cornstein relationship. He represented Fran Vazquez, whom the Magic selected No. 11 in the 2005 draft, but remained in Spain.

Brian Schmitz can be reached at bschmitz@orlandosentinel.com (bschmitz@orlandosentinel.com).

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/sports/orl-milicic0407jul04,0,4571398.story

dude1394
07-04-2007, 11:53 AM
darko is going to blow up in orlando and take them to the playoffs...write it down, take a picture..

Whenever he was on the court with Detroit, he was always blocking shots and the points he scored were in the post. He can also shoot from the outside.

Watch out for the howard-darko combo on the frontline.

BOOKIT!!

EricaLubarsky
07-04-2007, 12:08 PM
Darko would be nice here with Diop. Only problem is that he may be mad at Orlando but he's definitely looking for his fat paycheck to get his net worth into the 8-digit range. He will get 5-7 million a year for 4-5 years (around the MLE but probably a little more than it) and I dont know if its worth it to spend our entire MLE and maybe more on one guy that plays a position we are fairly strong at and spending a lot of money for.

dude1394
07-04-2007, 12:10 PM
He may be looking for it, but he's got a ways to go to get it imo.

Sounds like someone might get a decent player for cheap. I'd think about it.

Dr.Zoidberg
07-05-2007, 01:59 PM
.
.
.

Darko Milicic, anybody? Mr. Enigma isn't everybody's cup of tea, but I've heard that he's on Nelson's maybe-list for big-man pursuit. Milicic is very available now that Orlando has agreed to sign Rashard Lewis and pulled its offer for Milicic.

If the Kevin Garnett talks stall again, or if Mullin and Nelson conjure ideas of a KG/Darko front line, Milicic could be a big Warriors factor.

.
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http://www.mercurynews.com/opinion/ci_6302620?nclick_check=1