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Kahn still thinks Darko will be an All-Star

Jan 4, 2011, 10:25 AM EDT

Minnesota Timberwolves v Sacramento Kings

Darko Milicic this season has been… okay. Pedestrian. Average. Giving the Timberwolves 9 points and 5 rebounds a game, shooting about as well as he has the last few years, getting more chances, turning the ball over a little more. He’s been a big body that has given the Timberwolves a passable big to play beside Kevin Love.

But if you ask Minnesota GM David Kahn you’d find a man convinced Darko — now in his eighth NBA season — is just starting to break through. He’s turning the corner. He really deserves that $20 million contract! Kahn was on the Minnesota Timberwolves broadcast and got a softball of a question about how great Darko looked and came back with this response (transcribed by CBS Facts & Rumors):

I met with Darko today because I hadn’t talked to him in awhile, and I think there’s just still so much more to come. And I think that we expect it out of him. It’s not enough, is what I’m trying to say. We think that Darko can actually get to sort of a near All-Star if not All-Star level. There’s not a lot of quality centers in our sport. There’s no reason to think that a year from now if Darko were to continue his trajectory upwards, he couldn’t be in the mix about a year from now for the All-Star game.”

I’ll grant you that the Western Conference center pool is not that deep, especially with Yao Ming out. But let’s go down the list of people I would vote for before Darko just for fun: Andrew Bynum, Nene, Marc Gasol, Marcus Camby, Emeka Okafor and maybe even DeMarcus Cousins as a rookie. Chris Kaman would be on the list, too, if he were healthy. Darko will never get the fan vote, and coaches will go to players from winning teams first, so that leaves the Wolves in a bad spot for a couple years.

I will never fully understand the fascination with Darko on Minnesota.

  1. lebronsinsecurity - Jan 4, 2011 at 11:00 AM

    I’ve watched every single T-wolves game this year.. I’d say Darko’s proven you wrong Kurt.. After all the crap you threw at the T-wolves (much deserved), I think Darko has played better than anyone ever expected.. He’ never going to be a consistent 20-10 guy, but if you look at your list, he’s the 6th best center in the west.(adding Demarcus is goofy) and has a smaller contract than the first 5.. For playing only 3-4 months of real basketball in the last 3 years, I am actually pleasantly surprised by his “average” performance considering what we’d seen out of him up to this point.. He is on track to shatter the T-wolves blocks per season record held by Garnett..that’s got to count for something. I get it, Darko will always be “Darko the bust” to the majority of the media, but the Wolves didn’t waste any picks on him, just an average center’s salary.. I was against it at first, but what is there to really complain about at this point..

    • Kurt Helin - Jan 4, 2011 at 11:05 AM

      I added DeMarcus (and took all those names) off the actual NBA All-Star ballot. And I’d probably vote for him over Darko.

      • sbogs3 - Jan 4, 2011 at 12:12 PM

        Well….that is why you are kind of a joke. If you would actually read the details of the words spoken by David Kahn, rather than just searching desperately to throw cheap shots at the Wolves at any chance you get, you might understand that David Kahn wasn’t referring to this coming all-star game. He is saying if Darko continues to work hard and commit to improving, that in a year (or so) he could very well be higher up on that list. Not to mention the fact that 5th or 6th best center in the West is “near All-Star” level, which he already is. So common sense, for those of us who have it, would tell you that with a weak crop of centers in the West, Darko could easily improve and find himself in the top 4 by next season.
        Saying you would vote for DeMarcus Cousins over Darko even this year just shows the level of attention you actually pay to the players and teams you bash. Maybe actually watch a few games before making up these articles, please. However, I understand that this is a lot to ask for from a blogger such as yourself.

      • Kurt Helin - Jan 4, 2011 at 1:29 PM

        Sbogs3, you and I have a different vision of Darko’s ceiling. I think you are seeing it. He is 25 in his 8th NBA season — this right now is his peak. I don’t think he gets much better, if any. As such, he’ not passing any of the guys ahead of him on that list of centers.

        For the record, I have seen the Wolves twice this season in person and countless times on television. Disagree with me all you want, but don’t assume I make stuff up. Watching the games is the fun part of this gig.

  2. jstrizzle - Jan 4, 2011 at 11:26 AM

    Let’s put Kurt in Darko’s shoes as a writer. Lets say every story he writes about 50 comments get on here telling him how he is a writing bust. Lets do that for 3 or 4 years. Towards the end of those years the editor of this the site starts limiting his writing to less and less but all the while we keep commenting on how terrible of a writer he is. The dude’s confidence is clearly shattered. If you watched the early T’wolves games his shot was terrible. He would not attempt to make any post moves and just chuck it at the basket. Kahn is trying to rebuild that confidence. What would you expect him to say. “Yeah, I talked to Kahn today about how we should expect less from him and followed that up with how he in under a terrible contract.” We got him for defense and that is what he is bringing. Held both O’Neals to 9 and 5 points last night.

  3. sknut - Jan 4, 2011 at 11:27 AM

    Can we clear up the notion that his contract is 4/20 the 4th year is only partially guaranteed, its closer to a 3 yr 16 million, so after a couple of years they can dump him if they choose and his salary isn’t some sort of albatraoss either.

  4. zblott - Jan 4, 2011 at 12:20 PM

    Should Darko’s contract still be considered the worst of the offseason for all centers? Here’s a look at the best and worst from the summer:

  5. Josh Bachler - Jan 5, 2011 at 3:29 PM

    He should have said, “I met with Darko and told him what a waste of f-ing money he is, and that he is probably one of the worst centers in the league, and he is probably going to ruin my career someday. In fact that is exactly how myself, and every other person in the organization feels.”

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