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Average Fantasy Points
Average Fantasy Points are determined when Darko Milicic was active vs. non-active during the season. Click here to view average fantasy points for a different time period.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
From being dubbed the game's next great big man to becoming arguably league's biggest draft-day bust, Milicic has had a rollercoaster of an NBA career. Milicic joins his sixth NBA franchise in 9 years, hoping to help a team with the league's worst rebounding numbers per game last year. Minutes will not be aplenty for Milicic. However, he could be a surprising source of blocks and rebounds for deep leaguers.
Milicic looked like a productive center after he was traded to Minnesota from the Knicks at the end of the 2008-09 season, averaging 8.3 ppg and 1.4 bpg while getting 25:36 mpg. As a result, the T-Wolves signed him to a four-year, $20 million contract. However, he failed to improve even though he finally had the stability of a starting job. He averaged just 8.8 ppg and 5.2 rpg. He was a fantasy asset in the blocked shots category by averaging 2.0 per game. He may begin the season as Minnesota's starting center, but he likely lost his chance to be a focal point of the offense and may be relegated to a smaller situational role.
After rotting on the Knicks' bench over the first half of last season, Milicic finally got some playing time after coming over to Minnesota, averaging 8.3 ppg, 0.8 spg and 1.4 bpg while getting 25:36 mpg. The Timberwolves were so impressed, GM David Kahn signed him to a four-year, $20 million deal during the offseason, essentially giving away Al Jefferson as a result. Especially once you consider the players who went immediately after he was taken with the No. 2 pick in the 2003 draft (Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade), Milicic will likely go down as one of the biggest busts of all-time. He simply never developed an offensive game at the NBA level (his career-high in scoring is 8.0 ppg back in 2006-07). If Michael Beasley wins the power forward job, then Milicic will have to fight Kevin Love for minutes at center. Still, if Minnesota gives him a true opportunity, which seems possible, he could carve out some fantasy value in deeper formats.
Can Milicic justify his lofty draft position? No, that ship sailed long ago. But he seems like a good fit for this team. His shot-blocking ability is unquestioned, and no one else on New York's roster has shown that skill. And his offensive game - he's far more comfortable facing up than playing with his back to the basket - should be a good fit in D'Antoni's system.
The Grizzlies signed Milicic before the 2007-08 season hoping he could finally shed the bust label, show some of the talent that earned him a draft spot higher than Dwayne Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh. He got off to a decent start in Memphis, putting up three double-doubles in his first six games, but then was derailed by injury and inconsistency for the rest of the year. Injury concerns have flowed into the beginning of the new season, as he injured his ACL in late August, though the team thinks he will be OK for the start of the season. He should be the Grizzlies' starting center at the start of the season, but they have brought in two young projects in Marc Gasol and Hamed Haddadi, either of who may overtake Darko in mid-season.
Milicic was on every list of potential sleepers last season, but he disappointed with a pedestrian 8.0-point, 5.4-rebound, 1.8-block effort that left him barely fantasy relevant. So what happens this year? Milicic is traded from Orlando to Memphis, and he’s again likely to sneak onto everyone’s sleeper list. Why? Partially because he had so much hype when he entered the league in 2003. He was taken before Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh; people want to see him finally justify that lofty status. That’s probably wishful thinking, but there are some positives about his new situation. In Memphis, he gets to play with a young team whose superstar (Pau Gasol) is also an international player. This could help relieve some of the pressure from Milicic and make him feel more comfortable. He’s worth taking in the middle/late rounds for his shot-blocking ability and overall upside, especially if he’s center-eligible in your league.
This is obviously a big season for Milicic, who will finally get a chance to play some serious minutes. He’s still living with the stigma of being an underachieving 2nd overall pick – made even more pronounced when we see his draftmates LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade all signing extensions this offseason while Darko finishes up his rookie deal. All that promise is waiting to come out this season, and Milicic, a gifted shooter and ballhandler for a man his size, will get a chance as the Magic’s starting center. In 30 games for Orlando last year, he averaged 7.6 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.1 blocks and 1.1 assists in just 20.9 minutes per game. There’s a lot of upside in picking him, but don’t choose him too early.
Milicic will probably ride the pine again in 2004. The Detroit organization continues to say the right things about him, but until he gets out of Brown’s doghouse, it’s hard to see him playing significant minutes. If he really is as good as the pundits say, it seems like he could beat out the likes of Derrick Coleman, Elden Campbell and Amal McCaskill, especially when you see other young players succeeding at the NBA level right away. You just have to remember that he is still only 19, and that even Tracy McGrady and Kobe Bryant needed a little time to become stars.
Unlike his fellow top three draft picks, Lebron James and Carmelo Anthony, don't expect Milicic to get a lot of playing time with a veteran Detroit squad that hopes to contend for the Eastern Conference championship. The Pistons will take it slow with Milicic, which means he'll spend a lot of time riding the pine.
More Fantasy News
Milicic saw no playing time in Boston's season-opening loss Tuesday.