Jul 12, 2012, 11:12 AM EDT
Darko is free!
The Minnesota Timberwolves plan to amnesty center Darko Milicic in order to give an offer sheet to Portland Trail Blazers restricted free agent Nicolas Batum, a league source says. Milicic has two years and $10 million remaining on his contract but only $7 million is guaranteed.
Minnesota wants to make a big offer to Batum, the French swingman that a lot of GMs around the league covet because he is athletic, can hit the three, plays smart and is a plus wing defender.
Portland has said repeatedly it will match any offer to Batum (who is a restricted free agent). They mean it. But Batum’s agent badly wants him out of Portland and Minnesota will play along.
Minnesota also is reportedly trying to put together trade offers to tempt Portland, but the Blazers have no interest.
Darko struggled last season, in part due to injuries. While he has never lived up to his No. 2 overall pick status but he has been an NBA backup level big man.
If Darko is amnestied, teams under the salary cap would have 48 hours to bid on a portion of his contract, and the team with the highest bid would get his services (for example, if the Bobcats had the highest bid at $4 million then Darko would be a Bobcat and Charlotte would pay $4 million of his salary and the Timberwolves the rest of it).
If no team bids on him — not likely but not impossible — he would become a free agent and could sign wherever he wanted. Including Europe.
- LeBron James: “(The Bulls) are a team that’s much better than us right now just off chemistry” 32
- Has Kobe Bryant cost the Lakers Dwight Howard, Carmelo Anthony, Paul George and others? 64
- Five favorites to win NBA 2014-15 MVP 18
- ProBasketballTalk 2014-15 preview: San Antonio Spurs 7
- NBA’s 44-minute game clocks in at under 2 hours, players barely notice (VIDEO) 2
- Nets coach Hollins on 44-minute game: ‘The change will be for the guys who don’t start’ 11
- Spurs’ Gregg Popovich fires back at Suns owner’s apology: ‘I’m just surprised he didn’t do it in a chicken suit’ 8
- Blake Griffin goes after Trevor Booker following flagrant foul, says he may retaliate in the future (VIDEO) 31