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Report: Celtics will sign Darko Milicic next week. Seriously.

Sep 20, 2012, 12:14 PM EDT

Brendan Haywood, Darko Milicic AP

When the report first came out of Boston looking at Darko we took it with a grain of salt… oh, who are we kidding, it was like a 5 lb. bag of salt.

But apparently it’s true — the Boston Celtics are going to sign Darko Milicic, reports A. Sherrod Blakely of

A league source confirmed to that Milicic, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2003 NBA draft, will sign a one-year deal with the Celtics next week for the veteran’s minimum.

The signing of Milicic will give the C’s 14 guaranteed contracts heading into training camp, which begins Sept. 29.

While half of Boston just yelled “NOOOOO” this is not a bad move. Not a game changer by any means, but not terrible as some will paint it.

This gives the Celtics two more traditional big men off the bench to balance out their small ball lineups his year (Jason Collins is the other). Also fighting for minutes off the bench will be Chris Wilcox, plus rookies Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo. That group gives coach Doc Rivers some flexibility.

Darko is a guy who never lived up to the hype of being picked No 2 overall, he certainly was not the “manna from heaven” Timberwolves GM David Kahn said he was, but Darko is not as big a disaster as some labeled him. He developed into an okay backup center. While he struggled some last year, he has a career PER of 12.3, which is just below the league average and what you can expect out of a lot of backup bigs in the league. He’s not going to score or rebound a lot for you, but he can give you a decent 12 minutes a game and not really hurt you.

He’s the kind of guy (like Collins) that would float through the league on minimum deals and not draw much attention save for where he was taken in the draft. If he had been a late first or second round pick (as he should have been) this signing would be a footnote. One seen as decent insurance for the Celtics.

Which is exactly what it is.

By the way, one other interesting roster note from Blakely:

The domino effect of Milicic’s signing next week will be that it leaves just one roster spot for the handful of players in camp with non-guaranteed contracts. That group includes second-round pick Kris Joseph, summer league standouts Jamar Smith and Dionte Christmas, in addition to former Notre Dame big man Rob Kurtz who played in France last year, and former Gonzaga guard Micah Downs who played in Russia last year.

  1. j0esixpack - Sep 20, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    Not too many all stars get signed in late September, but the bottom line is the Celtics needed some depth at Center (whether they just got it may be another question)

    • Kansachusetts - Sep 22, 2012 at 12:01 PM

      If he’s got good hands (which he apparently does), Rondo will make him look better than he has looked before.

  2. eventhorizon04 - Sep 20, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    Not a game changing move by any stretch, but he’s basically depth in case Jason Collins can’t play at some point during the regular season.

    The Celtics can make a deep playoff push if KG at center is as effective this year as he was last year in the playoffs, but until then, Darko is a big body who can fill some regular season minutes at center if Collins ever is injured.

  3. finsphan - Sep 20, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    darko is better than any center the heat have

    • eventhorizon04 - Sep 21, 2012 at 8:30 AM

      …He’s not better than Chris Bosh.

  4. misterdreamer119 - Sep 20, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    Darko will inprove under Doc and the C’s culture. Every one does. Bass, Pietrus, etc.

  5. liljere24 - Sep 20, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    It would be a good move if the heat did it tho? Right?

    • eventhorizon04 - Sep 21, 2012 at 8:31 AM

      ….He said it was a good move.

      What’s with the persecution complex?

  6. thebigcaptain2011 - Sep 20, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    Report: Doc Rivers will try as hard as he can to make sure he doesn’t see the floor for the Celtics this season.

    • eventhorizon04 - Sep 21, 2012 at 8:40 AM

      Why are people thumbing that comment down?

      Does anybody think a Celtics team that is relying on Darko Milicic for a ton of minutes is a Celtics team that’s doing well?

      He wasn’t good enough to earn playing time with Minnesota.

  7. hokiegajanisgod - Sep 20, 2012 at 3:00 PM

    The half of Boston that just yelled “NOOOOO” probably aren’t true B’Ball fans anyway.

    Moves like this are about trying to win championships. Image and snarky remarks count for ZERO.

    Another nice move Danny (if true).

    • eventhorizon04 - Sep 21, 2012 at 8:32 AM

      …Bill Simmons on twitter reacted with “NOOOOOOOO.”

      Is he a fake Celtics fan?

  8. mungman69 - Sep 20, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    Probably trying to keep up with the Sixers’ centers. Really’

  9. jjordannba - Sep 20, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    Well, I guess that’s goodbye to my mans Dionte Christmas

  10. ihavenonickname - Sep 20, 2012 at 4:07 PM


  11. usm418 - Sep 20, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    Darko is a survivor. The Pistons biggest folly has managed to stay in the league purely on being a big body.

  12. tcclark - Sep 20, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    Jason Collins PER last year was 3.76. Good Signing.

  13. tcclark - Sep 20, 2012 at 5:31 PM

    Let’s put this into perspective for everyone.

    Darko Milicic – 2011-2012 – 4.6 pts, 3.3 rbs, 0.9 blks, 9.02 PER, 16 mpg (arguably, his worst year)

    Kendrick Perkins – 2011-2012 – 5.1pts, 6.6 rbs, 1.1 blks, 8.69 PER, 26 mpg

    I’m not sure if this makes Darko look better, or Perk look worse, but I’m not seeing a drastic difference…

    • ihavenonickname - Sep 21, 2012 at 1:17 AM

      ya great comparison, but of course perk seems to bring all the little things, D, toughness and intangibles.

    • eventhorizon04 - Sep 21, 2012 at 8:36 AM

      Awful comparison that insults Perkins.

      Perkins is well known as an excellent low-post defender (blocks and steals aren’t the only measures of good defense) and has been credited with matching up well against DWIGHT HOWARD in the playoffs. Several Celtics players were shocked and saddened to see him traded, and they credited him with doing a lot to help them on defense.

      Darko Milicic has bounced from team to team and can barely get any playing time, even while playing on bad teams.

      They both don’t score a ton of points or rebound a lot, but if you honestly “don’t see much of a difference” between the two players, you don’t understand basketball.

      • tcclark - Sep 21, 2012 at 9:32 AM

        Have you ever watched Darko play? Darko is a good low post defender, as is Kwame Brown. All three players are of similar size, and guard the post very well. Perk is a little better on the help side, but let’s not confuse Perkins with a shot blocker.

        Darko has played close to 20 minutes a game for his career. I don’t know where you’re getting that he can barely get minutes even on a bad team. I think your stuck in the media view of these players. If Darko and Kwame were late first round picks like they should have been, and Perkins wasn’t so hyped, they would be in the same class of player. PER factors in defense and Perk had the worst PER out of the three.

        Darko unfortunately is compared to his draftmates like Lebron, Carmelo, Chris Bosh, and Dwayne Wade. If he were a late round pick, he probably would’ve made more money on the market. They actually liked him in Minnesota. He just lost his job to a better center and they amnestied him so they could sign Brandon Roy.

        Perkins is a better player, but not by much. Let’s not pretend that statistics mean nothing and that these advanced metrics like PER completely lie. Perkins is totally hyped up in the NBA and makes way too much money. This is a good signing for Boston. They got a player who can fill a void.

  14. paulhargis53 - Sep 21, 2012 at 9:55 AM

    Event: Darko is going to see the floor for about 10 minutes a game.
    He’s going to be filling Ryan Hollins’ role.

    I dont see where you think he’s going to get “major” minutes.

    It’s a depth move plain and simple. A deep Celtics team just got deeper.

    You Heat and Laker fans can go ahead and chirp all you want, but I wouldn’t sleep on this Celtics team.

  15. mickeylolich1968 - Sep 22, 2012 at 10:45 AM

    A Serbian Greg Kite.

    • Kansachusetts - Sep 22, 2012 at 12:54 PM

      Does that beat a Latvian Henry Finkel?

    • Kansachusetts - Sep 22, 2012 at 12:59 PM

      Or a Montenegrin Mark Blount?

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