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Monday, March 22nd, 2010 at 10:30 am  |  34 responses

What Will it Take Wolves to Keep Darko Milicic?

Oh, y’know, just 30-35 minutes per game and a guaranteed starting job. The Star Tribune has more: “Darko Milicic had a rather startling answer after practice this morning when Phil Miller asked him whether he’d return to the Timberwolves next season if the team guaranteed him a starting job and 30 to 35 minutes a game. He said yes. Now, he also said the team would have to make off-season moves that proves things are bound to get better. He was very clear this 0-4 road trip from which the team returned Saturday was truly miserable. He finished the trip with a 16-point, 12-rebound game Friday in L.A. He missed the final five minutes because of back spasms he attributed to conditioning issues. But he also indicated the right environment where he can grow and develop as a player — not money, destination or other factors — is most important to him. ‘I just want to play next year. I’m not trying to show people I deserve to be second pick. I just want to see the best I can be,’ Milicic said. ‘This is the best league in the world. I want to get a real chance.”‘

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  • Hussman25

    The Starting gig and 30 to 35 MPG’s may be a lil too much to ask, but as long as he gets a real shot @ playing and playing impressive minutes is Key; theyre will be teams looking for bigs after the year… I like him in Minny; but it depends on what they gonna do w/ Big Al???

  • UnRel

    whether he’s a bust or not.. it’s refreshing to hear someone say.. ‘i just want a chance’.. cause there’s a lot of ballers out there.. d-league, rec centers, parks.. that just want a chance.. i hope he stays.. and shakes off the ‘biggest draft bust in league histroy’ tag..

  • Jamal

    How about you EARN 30-35MPG.This dude think’s somebody owes him something.

  • J-City

    I’m sorry but I have no sympathy for this guy. Making demands on why he wants to stay? Darko, get it in your head you’ll never “prove” that you’re a number 2 pick when teams passed on Melo, Bosh and Wade for you.
    How long has it been 6 years? How much has he shown?

  • AL29

    I believe Darko. He’s been screwed from day 1. First, he joined a veteran, championship-bound team with a coach who didn’t play rookies; then he played for Orlando (behind Dwight Howard), before he was traded to Memphis (enough said- the grizzlies sucked until this year), then to the Knicks where he got no playing time (see today’s post on D’Antoni not being a good evaluator of talent when it comes to distributing minutes), and then to the Wolves, one of the worst teams in the league. He really hasn’t been given a chance, even though teammates (such as Rasheed Wallace) have publicly stated that “he can play.” So I say, give Darko a chance. His heart’s in the right place, and there’s nothing at stake in Minnesota. Give him 35 minutes a game, and get him the ball.

  • underdog

    “I deserve to be second pick” – yes, it the second round. But never over Melo. It’s funny, when the Pistons won the championship, everybody thought Joe Dumas is a mastermind. And now the Pistons has nothing but an overpaid bench. Free Rip Hamilton.

  • JD

    I thought he wanted to go to Europe next year

  • hillbilly

    Darko? What the hell kind of name is that? It’s like some sort of superhero or something.

  • horsey

    i’m sure people in europe laugh at american names too…lots of 5 year olds on this site these days…sad.

  • http://www.inbox.lv smiles

    cosign AL, up to date he’s been some kind of dead pigeon, but darko can play and actually can be a starter in this league, what people seem to forget he’s a 24year old 7’0 275 center with quite a game and passing skills who has just been lacking confidence not to mention all the added pressure for being a young european player picked next after lebron and not being able to receive PT on a veteran powerhouse and just not being in the right situation all the time
    and if he stays and is given those kind of minutes I believe KLove goes…

  • hillbilly

    @horsey
    I promise, that one day, everything’s going to be better for you.

  • Lz – Cphfinest3

    @Hillbilly; You laugh at Darko, but do you realize that up until a year ago the Vice President of the US was named ‘Dick’?
    The ignorance these days.

  • gani

    everyone deserves a chance. darko and kwame included.

  • http://slamonline.com d.j.

    yes yes we do laugh at american names quite a bit as well.. and “dick” definitely tops the list haha.. i have to mention “keith” as well its deff ugly name, but as for darko, he will not stay, 3-4 months of good play on a bad team are not enough to erase the bad flavor he had for almost 5 years playing elsewhere.. he will be playing in Europe for Real Madrid in all likelihood… as will Ginobili believe it or not…

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    More excuses. When there are bust draft picks, too often we blame everything else but the draft pick himself. Same excuses with Kwame. Both Kwame and Darko’s failures have been blamed on their rookie situations as well as being on teams led by very strong personalities (MJ, LB, Kobe). Nonsense. Why did a guy like Brendan Hayood quietly turn himself into a productive big man when Kwame couldn’t? Both were young players on MJ’s Wiz. Jermaine O’Neal spent several years toiling in practice, stuck at the end of the STACKED late-90′s Blazer bench, and emerged a star. As a rook, being put on a team with a wealth of experience can be either an asset or a detriment to you – but it’s up to you to seize the opportunities that are presented and make the most of them. Darko, and to a lesser extent Kwame, just don’t have the character to hang in the League, and that’s a fact.

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    It’s not like being on a weak team and given the green light would mean that these guys would’ve succeeded, like a lot of the Darko apologists like to argue. Adam Morrison, and to a lesser extent Yi Jianlian, were given the green light and nearly shot themselves into oblivion during their rookie years thanks to terrible shooting efficiency. At least Yi has shown a bit of promise on the Nets, but Morrison seems doomed.

  • Spetsnaz

    Some people need reading comprehension classes. He was asked would he stay “IF the team guaranteed him a starting job and 30 to 35 minutes a game. He said yes”. Thats not making demands, it’s answering a question.

    Darko is a stupid name unlike JaVale, Amar’e, Jamario and Delonte!

  • The Philosopher

    So, what about that offer overseas he was supposedly going to get after his League contract expired? He either goes overseas, or he stays in the League, gets a new contract, and complains some more. Just my opinion. He’s still. Young enough, though.

  • gani

    it’s still up to the player what he does with his chance in the nba. if the player wastes his chance (or chances) then that’s his fault.

  • Logues

    Dorko is so dumb. who does he think he is? does he really think he should start over kevin love?

  • Hangtime Hec

    So Im guessing you guys never seen Donnie Darko huh?

  • gani

    if developed properly and given fair amounts of playing time, a frontcourt rotation of al jefferson, darko, and kevin love could be a very good one for the years to come.

  • http://www.slamonline.com melvin ely

    JoelO’s, Jermaine flourished in Indiana because of Isiah Thomas, no two ways about it. JO himself cited Isiah as one of the main reasons he became an all-star in Indy, Isiah being the one who pushed for him, beleived in him, and ultimately, played him big minutes and ran plays for him. Darko’s never had that. And don’t please compare Kwame with Darko. Kwame is a through-and-through bust without a doubt. Darko’s shown flashes of solid play in international leagues and Orlando. Of course I admit that it’s up to the player to make something of himself in this league, but you underestimate the combined effects of the pressure and being buried in the bench 2 years has on a young dude from overseas.

  • http://www.slamonline.com melvin ely

    and for the record, I kinda get the feeling the linked article is taking a lot of ish out of context, which is what most sports journalist do nowadays to incite readership. At no point does it quote Darko actually DEMANDING minutes and off-season moves for him to stay. People commenting on here need to chill.

  • gani

    @melvin ely: yep. darko just said yes to the question that if offered a starting gig and 30 – 35 minutes would he stay. oh, and is kwame really that bad? didn’t he do decent when he was with the lakers?

  • gani

    … i’m just clarifying the kwame thing since i don’t get to regulary watch nba games.

  • JoeMaMa

    Kwame’s still in the league, pulling in a paycheck. So according to most level headed people, he’s doing okay. Remember, he didn’t pick himself #1. Same for Darko. These guys get picked and play. We can say “he was #2, #6, #3 pick overall”, but that’s a scouting/personnel decision, and in the past few years, such decisions are increasingly based on ‘potential’ and ‘upside’. I think both of those guys walked into tough situations and struggled as a result. Hey…it happens. Plenty of examples. Shoot, DJ Augustin’s a baller, but he’s fighting the two guys Kwame and Darko faced early in their careers. MJ and Larry are notorious for not bringing along rookies.

  • http://www.hoopistani.com Hoopistani

    i’d take Darko over Kwame ANY DAY

  • Justin

    AL29 and Spetznaz are the only ones that have said anything that makes sense in this post. gani said “it’s still up to the player what he does with his chance in the nba. if the player wastes his chance (or chances) then that’s his fault.” The point is, he hasn’t been given that chance yet!

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    @melvin ely: Point noted. Greatness was not expected of Jermaine from day one, and as luck would have it Zeke gave him the chance he needed to show what he’d learned in Portland. I actually think Darko showed sparks of what he could do in Orlando and Memphis, but why nobody really wants to give him a chance is beyond me. Maybe those early years really did mess with his confidence.

  • http://www.slamonline.com wayno

    People didn’t give him the chance because he’s shown 0 work ethic and 0 motivation…What should come first? Playing time so he can show he’s good, or time and hard work in practice so he can show he’s good?

  • http://www.slamonline.com wayno

    Now, that’s not to say he can’t be a good player. I think it’s hard to argue that the talent isn’t there. If he changes his sense of entitlement and puts in some hard work he could be a pretty good player. He’s only 24.

  • Zop

    darko is still young, while kwame is already 28. darko can still develop, ladies and gents.

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