The start of the 2005-06 NBA campaign means it is time for yet another semi-annual editorial suggesting that Darko Milicic isn’t a complete bust. Though a comparison to Shawn Bradley might make you redefine “bust”. From the Detroit Free Press’ Drew Sharp.
The name Milicic isn’t necessarily Serbian for “mistake.”
Even though Darko Milicic has done little in two seasons with the Pistons, other NBA teams have made inquiries about his availability. They gauged the temperature of his discontent last season and during the summer, and the hotter it got, the more calls to Joe Dumars, the Pistons’ president of basketball operations.
“There’s been a tremendous amount of interest in Darko throughout the league,” Dumars said.
It isn’t outlandish to suggest that some teams still would have taken the enigma with the second pick in the 2003 draft, even with the foresight that Dwyane Wade would emerge as a game-changing star at Miami.
At least one Western Conference executive thinks so, all because of Darko’s upside.
When looking for comparisons to Milicic, the name Raef LaFrentz frequently comes up. LaFrentz was the third overall pick in 1998, and he is regarded as a steady, solid player, averaging 11.8 points and 6.9 rebounds for his career.
And that’s probably the best career scenario for Milicic — solid and steady.
He made an impression as a shot-blocker in the just-completed exhibition season. Perhaps that makes Darko the second coming of Shawn Bradley, drafted second overall in 1993. And Bradley’s career can be defined as pedestrian at best.