NBA Roundtable

Darko To Minnesota

In Trade Talk on February 17, 2010 at 6:33 pm

ESPN reports

The New York Knicks have a deal in principle to send Darko Milicic to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Brian Cardinal, two sources with knowledge of the talks told on Wednesday.

The two sides have yet to formally complete the trade and have a trade call scheduled for Thursday morning. Assuming nothing changes overnight, the deal should be officially consummated in the morning.

The trade will save the Knicks $1.8 million and give the Wolves a center to audition for the rest of the season.


  • Star Tribune — quotes from David Kahn — click here
  • New York Daily News — Darko’s agent happy to end Knicks stay — click here

Minnesota Timberwolves

Excellent trade for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Darko Milicic is a solid center who is a rotation caliber player. He plays good defense and does a solid job on the backboards. Offensively, he’s serviceable if kept in a largely limited role with the odd couple of touches/scoring opportunities to massage his ego. The Triangle will allow him to be involved as a passer which will help him feel involved offensively. Darko is a below average but serviceable passer (better than Big Al).

Milicic also gives Minnesota a legitimate defensive center. Darko is close to seven foot tall with great length and good quickness. He is an excellent shot blocker and good defender overall. He has tremendous defensive potential but is unlikely to fulfill it in Minnesota, so let’s just ignore that for the time being. Darko is also a space eater in the paint who helps keep opponents off the glass as well as being solid at grabbing rebounds himself.

Darko gives Minnesota the physically strong defensive minded shot blocking center that they desperately wanted. All they had to give up for him was a non-rotation worthy perimeter orientated power forward in Brian Cardinal. An excellent exchange with has improved their talent base by a large margin.

Milicic will combine with Al Jefferson and Kevin Love to give the Wolves a high quality three player big man rotation. Milicic is capable of playing close to 30 minutes a night, either as a starter or a bench player, with the other two cleaning up the majority of the minutes. If Minnesota wishes to use a further big man they can choose between Ryan Gomes in a smaller quicker lineup or Ryan Hollins in a longer lineup with more shot blocking.

New York

The Knicks save some on a player who never fitted into their team’s style of play and wasn’t being used. Neither of those two issues were going to change so a nice trade for NYC too.

Update: New York to waive Brian Cardinal. The Knicks need open roster spots to make their deal with the Celtics. Cardinal could be a good sixth big in the rotation for somebody.

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