The Minnesota Timberwolves have agreed with free agent Darko Milicic on a four-year deal, his agent, Marc Cornstein, said Thursday.
The contract is worth $20 million and the fourth year is only partially guaranteed, sources close to the process told ESPN.com.
Free agents cannot formally sign contracts until July 8.
Good Value, Bad Value?
I think this is a good contract but the wrong move for Minnesota
- $5 million a year for a center who plays good defense and is a good rebounder + has a somewhat serviceable offensive game is a good price.
However, the above description is one of a role player. A finishing piece on a team that is getting ready to make a run. Not a building block. A player who can be acquired at a later date when the foundation is in place.
Spending money on role player before you have a core in place is generally a bad idea because it limits your cap flexibility. Which is exactly what Minnesota have just done.
Furthermore, while I am a fan of Darko and do think that he has considerable potential (as a defensive anchor) … I do not think Minnesota provides the right environment for Darko to blossom. I believe that Darko needs to be on a defensive minded veteran team for Darko to get the most out of his defensive ability. To really channel his focus and effort into his defense.To discover just how good a player he could be on that end of the floor when he does that.
That said, I do think the Triangle offense and Kurt Rambis will be good for him offensively. Darko has always been the type of player who’s effort declines when he is uninvolved on the offensive end of the floor. In the Triangle offense, the center position is very important because that player is involved heavily as a passer.
That will allow Darko to be more involved offensively than on any other team he has ever been on. I believe that will help his confidence offensively, and his all-round game (but not to the degree he is capable of defensively), and that Darko will show good improvement offensively (better efficiency) as a result.
Earlier in the day, Minnesota signed Pekovic to a four year $13 million contract with a likely starting salary of $3 million.
So, looking at the Wolves cap situation we see that they had $42.94 million in salaries. The addition of $3 million for Pekovic and $5 million for Darko, minus the cap hold for an empty roster spot, adds roughly $7.5 million onto the Wolves cap. That lifts their total to a little under $50 million leaving them with only $6 million in cap space.
The Wolves just limited their ability to sign a major free agent (notably Rudy Gay). Their only hope now is to agree to a sign and trade with Al Jefferson being the bait (very good bait).