[...] Minnesota then followed this up by agreeing to re-sign Darko Milicic, reportedly to a 4 year $20 million deal with only part of the final year guaranteed. If you could fuse Milicic and Pekovic together, you'd have an awesome two-way centre whose only flaw was defensive rebounding; as it is, you now have a duo of backup bigs who don't figure to co-exist very well.
(Minnesota are also said to be planning to use their final $5.1 million in cap space on Charlotte forward Tyrus Thomas, despite them already having Jefferson, Milicic, Pekovic and Kevin Love. It seems like overkill and a pretty bad idea. However, if Jefferson is traded for backcourt and/or wing players, it makes some sense; Tyrus would give Minnesota the athletic quality that their big man rotation otherwise lacks. These moves, though, all conspire to make the Ryan Hollins signing from last summer look even worse. And it doesn't look good for Greg Stiemsma's chances of making the team.)
The Timberwolves are paying Milicic based on the 25 game sample he played for them last season. Included in those 25 games were 18 starts, and in those 18 starts, Minnesota went 1-17. Now with seven years of NBA experience, Darko has just had the second contract season of his career, and the 4 years and $20 million looks less bad when you consider he's just finishing up a 3 year $21 million deal. Nevertheless, it's a lot of money for a man who hasn't strung together two good seasons in a row in his whole career, and who has played well for about 18 total months of a 7 year span. When he wants to, Darko can play interior defense as well as anyone. But he does about once every three weeks, and does so at the expense of any offense and with sub-par rebounding. What's that worth? $20 million? Not for me it isn't. But a lot depends on the specifics of that guarantee. If it's nearer a 3 year deal than a 4 year one, it will be tolerable.
Assuming he makes it to the end of this contract, Darko will have acquired 11 years of NBA experience. Not even Sean Marks has that many.
The other extremely active team at the deadline was the Knicks, who completed three trades of their own. One of them was the brilliantly pointless Darko Milicic for Brian Cardinal deal; Cardinal has already been waived, and Darko has already said he's going back to Europe once this season is over, which makes the logic behind the deal beautifully pointless (and inevitably, financially motivated; Cardinal's smaller cap number means less tax for the Knicks, and the cash New York gave up makes Milicic cheaper than Cardinal for Minnesota. Or at least the same cost.)
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