NBA Fantasy Alert: Full Steam Ahead, Darko

John TamelCorrespondent INovember 24, 2010

NEW ORLEANS - DECEMBER 07:  Darko Milicic #31 of the Memphis Grizzlies makes a shot over David West #30 of the New Orleans Hornets on December 7, 2007 at the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, Louisiana.  The Hornets defeated the Grizzlies 118-116.    NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Darko Milicic has heard all of the negativity regarding his NBA hoops career. Over the last 7 years, he's received so much criticism for being the "Sam Bowie" of the 2003 NBA Draft class that included Lebron James, Chris Bosh, and D-Wade. Tired of the criticism, Darko came out publicly and stated he was heading back to Europe to continue his hoops career. Traded from the Knicks to the Timberwolves on February 18th of this year, it appeared Darko had his bags packed, ready to head back to Europe. Oh, how life surprises us sometimes. It's amazing what a little encouragement will do with the right coach, and the Timberwolves knew it. David Kahn's message to Darko - "Clear your mind."

Kurt Rambis and the Timberwolves went for broke before acquiring the 7 foot, 275 pound center, labeled a bust. Over the last 4 games, Darko's averaged 17 points, 8.8, rebounds, 3.5 assists, 4.5 blocks, and 2 turnovers a game. In one game against the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers on November 19th, he tallied 23 points,16 boards, 6 blocks, 5 dimes, 2 steals and only 2 turnovers against a ferocious Laker front line. The point - if you're a Darko skeptic, it may be time to reverse engines.

Although the Timberwolves continue to lose, management has to be elated about this level of production for the money they are paying him. In July of this year, Darko was signed to a 4 year, 20 million dollar contract, with the 4th year being only partially guaranteed. Now 25 years old, on his 5th NBA team, and entering the prime of his career, he is finally on a team where it appears his talents can be properly utilized. My prediction - it would appear Darko's coming out party is forthcoming.

If Darko continues this level of production, he should be a leading candidate for most improved player of the year. If he's available in your fantasy league, snatch him up immediately. If you have any questions concerning your fantasy league, please email me at Jetam2@hotmail.com.

John Tamel


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