Keys To The Wolf Den: Darko Milicic Evaluation & Evan Turner Hires Agent

Timber WolfAnalyst IIApril 9, 2010

MILWAUKEE - MARCH 21:  Dallas Lauderdale #52 and Evan Turner #21 of the Ohio State Buckeyes look on in the second half while taking on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets during the second round of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Bradley Center on March 21, 2010 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Evan Turner

Expect the Minnesota Timberwolves to be in full 100% go-get-him mode. The best college basketball player has just hired an agent, meaning that he will enter the 2010 NBA draft, a wise decision by a player whose game will be rivaled by the NBA's elite.

David Kahn, the Minnesota Timberwolves GM knows that the Minnesota Timberwolves desperately need an all-around 2-guard. And with their draft position, it's pretty much sealed that Evan Turner just might end up into the Wolves hands.

Whether it's luck or by a trade, the Minnesota Timberwolves wanted Ricky Rubio last season, and they got him, and the Wolves patiently wait for another year for him to make the trip overseas.

I as a Wolves fan/writer know that Evan Turner is going to be EXTREMELY high on the Wolves draft board, I even expect the Wolves to take him with the #1 pick if they cannot trade down to the #2 spot. David Kahn has said this draft is the most important one, and the Wolves if need be definitely have the assets to trade up to get the #2 pick if somehow they were to land a pick lower than that.

These assets include the trading of players like Al Jefferson, Ramon Sessions, Ryan Gomes, Ryan Hollins or Jonny Flynn, the rights to Nikola Pekovic, the rights to Henk Norel, the 16th and 25th first-round pick, two middle 2nd round picks, and cash considerations. Believe me, the Wolves can grab that 2nd pick if needed be. I see Kevin Love and the rights to Ricky Rubio as the only untouchables for the Wolves right now.

Darko Milicic

Ok, people need to get a grip on this kid.

Am I the only one that doesn't see Darko Milicic as this epic bust? He may never live up to that #2 pick status, but that does not mean he cannot be a starting center in the NBA. For anyone that has taken the time to actually watch this dude play, please back me up on this, there have been many professional opinions of optimism on this kid as of late.

Article by Henry Abbot

How's the team?

There's some good promise there. Al Jefferson ... wow. He's got a lot of upside, let's put it that way. He's a 20 and 10 guy pretty much just using jump hooks. Have you seen him shoot with two hands? Jump-shots? And he could get to the line a lot more. He has just scratched the surface. We worked on free throws the other day, and then he had a 36 and 16 game. Afterwards, he said "Idan, that free throw stuff was great." The guy's going to be a killer.

Jonny Flynn is just getting started with what he can do. Corey Brewer, Kevin Love ... they've all just scratched the surface.

And Darko Milicic
he's way more talented than anyone ever gave him credit for. He has been beat up in his first six years in the NBA. I wish I could sneak you into the gym so you could see what he can do. He really is seven-feet-plus. He's really bouncy. He's really running. You can see why it was a debate who should be first, second or third in that draft.

And you're a Carmelo guy!

Carmelo's my guy. But Darko's ta-len-ted . They're doing something smart here by welcoming him openly, and making him feel a part of what's happening. He's a good kid. There's nothing bad about him. What's the point of all the yelling and screaming and cursing and insulting that he has endured? Once you have lost your dignity and self respect, it's hard to be professional. Now he's somewhere where they are acting like they're happy to see him, and it's awesome.

At least I'm not the only one. I look at it like this say if this guy was merely an undrafted free agent, no one and I mean no one would be calling him a bad player. His stats, 8 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 1.4 BPG would suggest that, and his per-40 minutes numbers are logging a double-double with over 2 blocks. Not to mention, all this is coming while he's also learning the triangle offense on the fly, gaining conditioning (he's panting every minute he's out there), and dealing with surprisingly a lot of adversity against opposing teams.

The fact of the matter is, his name is Darko Milicic, and that's why he's a bad player in the eyes of some viewers. I'm not saying he's an all-atar, a #2 pick, or a legitimate starter, I'm not saying anything, but the guy deserves another chance, and the Wolves should be happy to hand him a contract that does them justice.

The Phoenix Suns head coach Alvin Gentry supports the idea.

"He's a really skilled guy who's still fighting the whole Detroit thing," the Suns coach said, referring to Milicic's inability to live up to his status as the No. 2 pick in the 2003 draft.

"But he's such a young guy he's only 24 and skilled as heck. He's got an unbelievable knowledge of the game."

If anyone watched the Wolves game against the Heat, I'd like to point out something. Darko tallied 10 points on 5-8 shooting, grabbing only 1 rebound, but blocked 3 shots within 13 minutes. And two of those blocked shots were on Dwyane Wade dunk attempts.

And saying this as humbly as I can possibly say it, Dwyane Wade wasn't getting to the paint without getting a heat check while Darko was in the game. One of Darko's blocks was so clean and fierce that you had to grasp it in slow motion, it really puzzled me why they did not put that block in the highlights.

Please consider:

  • 8 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block against the Oklahoma City Thunder and a +35 plus/minus rating. The Timberwolves record? +36... Kevin Garnett
  • 16 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 block against the Los Angeles Lakers.
  • 16 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, 1 block against the Golden State Warriors.
  • 15 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 4 blocks against the Sacramento Kings.
  • 4 blocks in ten minutes against the Atlanta Hawks.
  • 6 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 block against the Denver Nuggets
  • 14 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals against the Orlando Magic.

These are things that are only skin (stats) deep.

Going into what Darko actually does to help this young Wolves team, It would take someone that actually watches the games to truly understand, but for now, be fine with the stats.

Thanks for reading!


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