View Full Version : Trouble brewing in Detroit???? 3rd pick.

06-20-2003, 02:47 PM
Hemofarm threatens, but Pistons on Milicic track
ESPN.com news services

Darko Milicic's European team intends to keep the 7-foot-1 star and threatens legal action against any NBA team attempting to sign him.

The center from Serbia and Montenegro, who turned 18 on Tuesday, plays for Hemofarm Vrsac. The Detroit Pistons are expected to choose him with the overall No. 2 pick in Thursday's NBA draft, following Cleveland's selection of LeBron James.

"This will not affect our draft plans," Pistons president Joe Dumars told Chad Ford, ESPN.com's NBA Insider.

Milicic is considered the best big man in the draft. He comes out of a pro league where most players are in their mid-20s.

"We've been down this road before," Milicic's agent, Marc Cornstein, told Ford. "At this time I don't think this is much more than a negotiating ploy."

"We're still comfortable with where we are in the negotiations," Cornstein said. "This will get resolved. Darko Milicic will be the No. 2 pick in the draft. He will be a Detroit Piston. The goal is to get it done before the draft. I'm optimistic that we'll get something done that's beneficial for both Darko and Hemofarm."

Hemofarm said Thursday it plans to file a lawsuit in New York against Cornstein, contending he is interfering with the player's contract. Milicic has played for Hemofarm since 2000, and the club said it has Milicic under contract through 2009.

"We are open for negotiations on the issue," Miodrag Babic, president of Hemofarm Group, said in a statement. "The contracts in question are valid."

The team also plans to initiate arbitration proceedings against any NBA team that attempts to sign Milicic. That action would come before the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sports.

Negotiations between Milicic's group and the Pistons have been ongoing since February, but talks have unraveled a bit over the last few days.

But this tug-o-war isn't uncommon with European players, it's more par for the course. NBA teams are not prevented from drafting players under contract to foreign teams. League rules, however, stipulate an NBA team can pay no more than $350,000 toward buying out a player's contract. Milicic does not have a buyout provision in his contract, which means the buyout amount is completely up for discussion.

The NBA draft will take place Thursday night in New York.

06-20-2003, 03:23 PM
hmmm. thanks for posting, drbio.

06-20-2003, 03:28 PM
I don't think this is anything to worry about. We will see Darko in a detroit unifrom next year. They are just postering for more money. China did the same thing when the mav's got Wang.

06-20-2003, 03:43 PM
The lawyers will handle this one....his contract was signed when he was under 18.

06-20-2003, 04:25 PM
One thing to remember....the NBA imposed a maximum dollar amount for buyouts. I forget what the number is but it seems like it was $350,000 or so. If it comes down to a mere 350K it's not likely a problem. If his Euro team feels that Darko is worth more than that and they aren't trying to get money just for the sake of it, there could be an interesting battle waged. Whatever the case, OP hit it dead on the head when he stated the attorneys will battle this one out.

06-20-2003, 06:22 PM
"Negotiations between Milicic's group and the Pistons have been ongoing since February, but talks have unraveled a bit over the last few days."

If this isn't a misprint, then I'm on the side of the group that says the NBA draft lottery is fixed.