Wolves Acquire Darko Milicic from New York
Radio voice of the Wolves, Alan Horton chats with David Kahn about the latest deal to bring former No. 2 overall pick Darko Milicic to Minnesota.
How does this help the team, as far as you're concerned?
"Well, we don't know. And I don't mean to be pithy in saying that. I think we're all intrigued by the fact that Darko was at one point the second pick taken in the draft and is still a very young player. He's been in the league--I think--seven years, and he's only about 25 years old. He's 7'1" and has the kind of skill set that would really compliment Kevin and Al both, no matter which of the two he was playing with. But having said that, I also have to acknowledge that he hasn't played much this year, and he's had a very strange NBA career when you consider where he was taken. So for us, this was an opportunity to bring in a seven-footer for the last 27 games of the season, and in effect take a real, hard look at him in our program and see what we have there."
Why do you think he didn't play much this season with the Knicks?
"I don't know. I was told that when he got there, that they were really excited because he would fit--they thought--in Mike D'Antoni's style, and I heard that he played very well in the preseason. And then it seemed like he just fell off the map. I don't know, and I'm sure he's… well I know this for a fact, he was very frustrated by that and has even said some things this year about wanting to go back to Europe after this season and kind of toss it in. I hope that's not the case, and I hope that he sees these next two and a half months as an opportunity to at least end his NBA career the right way, but in our case we hope it's even better than that -- that this will be an opportunity for us to see if there's something there that we might want to even bring him back for next season."
I know it must be hard managing the roster/salary cap while trading personalities like Brian Cardinal.
"It is. In this case, it gave us some pause. We really had to think through that issue, and I wish we didn't have to trade Brian to do so. That was really the only salary that made sense for the Knicks. Mark Blount's contract didn't make any sense for them for tax purposes. You know, I don't know what the future will hold for Brian with us. There's a rule in the league that we have to wait thirty days before we can have him come back, and I don't know if he'll catch on with somebody else or what the future may hold. But, I would not be surprised--there's a strong possibility--that if he's still open thirty days from today, when the trade is done, that he could end up the season with us. I think that would be a great thing for him, and for us."
Are you surprised at some of the big moves we've seen?
"Not really. I said this a few weeks ago; usually the trade deadline moves are driven in large part by the teams that think they have a chance to win. And so you've seen Dallas, and now Cleveland, really drive the biggest two deals, and there might be more to come. I think that the teams that think they have a chance to win this year are trying to load up and trying to make sure that they've given themselves every opportunity to do so. In our case, with this move today, it was a much different type of deal in terms of who we are and in terms of how we're developing."
The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has acquired 7-0 center Darko Milicic and cash considerations from the New York Knicks in exchange for forward Brian Cardinal.
Milicic, 24, has appeared in eight games for the Knicks this season, averaging 2.0 points and 2.3 rebounds per game. The second overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft by Detroit, Milicic is in his seventh NBA season and owns career averages of 5.4 points and 4.0 rebounds per game. His best statistical season came in 2006-07 when he averaged 8.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 80 games with Orlando.
Cardinal, a 10-year NBA veteran, was averaging 1.7 points in 27 games during his second season with the Wolves. Cardinal was originally acquired in a draft-day trade with Memphis during the summer of 2008 and appeared in 91 games during his tenure in Minnesota.
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