Orlando Magic Blog

Group Blog talking about the NBA 2009 Eastern Conference Champions. Due to the amazing success of the 2009 playoff run comments are now frequently deleted to kill offensive comments, incoherence, or asininity. Comments can no longer be anonymous and require either a Blogger or OpenID account.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Loss Of Darko Could Be Big Blow To Magic, His Wallet

The way Magic power forward Darko Milicic left the Verizon Center Tuesday night --- grimacing, balancing crutches and wearing a protective boot --- it doesn't look as if he'll be ready for the playoffs this weekend.
Milicic severely sprained his right ankle in the second quarter and did not return. He will get an MRI today in Orlando.
"The doctor said it’s a bad sprain," Milicic said. "I can’t tell you now if I can play."
It's a blow for the Magic, who could use another big man to go with Dwight Howard, Tony Battie and Milicic.
And it would be a shame for Milicic to miss matching up against his old team, the Pistons, who drafted him, soured on him and finally traded him last season to the Magic.
But the injury could also be bad timing for Darko, who is trying to land a whopper contract as a restricted free agent this summer. He might not be able to showcase himself on the big playoff stage.
Here's an update on the Magic-Milicic contract situation I wrote before he got hurt:
While Magic General Manager Otis Smith doesn’t foresee a problem re-signing power forward Darko Milicic, Milicic’s agent said Tuesday that the biggest issue might not necessarily be financial.
Marc Cornstein, Milicic’s agent, says Milicic’s decision also depends on which teams will allow him to display more of his his shooting and passing skills. He has been used more as a post-up player with the Magic.
"I know Darko," agent Marc Cornstein said by phone from Philadelphia. "Wherever he winds up for his second contract, it has to be somewhere where he’s going to be allowed to do what he can do. That’s extremely important to him.
"I think that has to be part of the recruiting pitch. That, to me, is the key to this summer, to find somewhere where he is a central figure or can maximize his talents."
Milicic said he hasn’t played as well as he can, but also feels his skills could be utilized better.
"I still don’t think we’ve tapped into what Darko can do," Smith said. "He’s still learning how to play. He’s 21."
Cornstein hasn’t talked about Milicic’s contract status with Smith since October, but Cornstein said he’d "a little surprised" if Milicic isn’t re-signed.


  • At 2:31 AM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    In addition, here is what one of our former coaches had to say...

    Boston Celtics assistant coach Clifford Ray isn't one to suppress an opinion, and he doesn't when it comes to the Magic's handling of Dwight Howard and Darko Milicic.

    Ray, a big-man guru became Howard's personal coach his rookie season but was let go when Brian Hill was hired, said Howard doesn't need coddling. "Seems like everybody is kissing Dwight's butt over there," Ray said before the Magic faced the Celtics Sunday.

    Ray also said that he has never seen a player "misused" like Milicic, believing Darko's shooting and passing abilities have gone untapped. Milicic has said as much.

  • At 9:36 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    This is another testimonial to Hill and Smith's incompetence. Clifford Ray had the confidence of Dwight and his father's support, who openly asked for his retention. Mark Bryant was not a bad big man in his time considering he was undersized for a PF or C, but he had some good moves at the post. My point, without knowing which man would have been a better fit, why fix something that is not broke?

    As for Darko, besides being misused - and mistreated in my view - did anybody ask the tough question of why the offer that was on the table was pulled? That again brings me to the point of the Magic officials treating the public like a retarded stepchild.

  • At 10:09 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    If travis was a hot topic before the trade deadline,why not let him go for a big man,not doing anything around the deadline is showing its ugly face,right as the playoffs start we loose darko,the only thing that surprises me is pat hasnt played even when we've been short of big men!!!

  • At 3:04 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    It would be funny if Hill and Smith blame Darko's injury for the post-season's lack of success. After all, this is the same guy who refused to put in the starting line-up, and pulled the rug from under on the contract offer.

  • At 3:52 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    I'm as puzzled as anyone as to why Clifford Ray wasn't retained as Howard's personal coach. Dwight is progressing nicely, but he would probably be even better if Ray was still here. Look at the nice job Ray is doing with young Celtic forward Al Jefferson.

    Ray would have really helped the development of Darko also. Even people outside the organization can see that Darko isn't being used right.

    That was Bryan Hill's first mistake when he was hired as coach... not retaining Clifford Ray as an assistant.

    Really discouraging news on Darko's ankle... sounds like it's going to keep him out awhile.


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