NBA Roundtable

T’Wolves Re-Up Darko Milicic

In Free Agency on July 1, 2010 at 7:44 pm

ESPN reports

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

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.

Cap Space

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).

  1. Speaking of signing role players to expensive/overpaid deals, did you see the figure the Raps gave to Amir Johnson? 5 years 34 million.

    BC has shown that his is probably one of the worst GMs during his tenure with the raps

  2. Hey Dino Gunners,

    I thought Bryan Colangelo paid more than he needed to – I thought a starting salary of about $4 million would get it done – but the contract is still a solid deal.

    Amir Johnson can provide good value for that payday so long as the Raps give him enough minutes.

    I wouldn’t be concerned about it.

  3. Dave,

    Is Bargnani’s deal “good value” for his skill-set? Yes, it is, IMO … but this still DOES NOT mean that Bargnani is not an albatross around the Raptors’ neck. He most definitely is.

    I agree with Dino Gunner, in this instance.

    Amir Johnson’s new contract is another bad move for Toronto which will hamstring their efforts down-the-road … if they cannot re-sign CB4.

    i.e. Toronto would be better off long term giving those developmental minutes to Ed Davis rather than Amir Johnson.

  4. Right now …

    David Kahn might well be the worst GM in the NBA.

  5. Khandor,

    I think we are using two different criteria for defining value.

    When I say what a player is worth (in monetary terms), I am talking solely about his value relative to his impact on the court.

    Not a player’s market value or trade value around the league. I think of them as separate issues.

    Take Bargnani for example, I don’t think he is worth anywhere close to $10 million. I think his skill-set, talent level, is only worth $2-3 million per annum. However, I agree there will be teams in the league that value Bargnani highly and will be willing and happy to pay him $10 million per annum.

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