Might the Bulls be interested in acquiring Darko?
Orlando's Milicic might be low-post guy Bulls need
Once their playoff run concludes sometime this spring, the Bulls will resume their pursuit of a big man capable of scoring in the low post. Once again, the top targets figure to be Minnesota's Kevin Garnett or Memphis' Pau Gasol, but there's another 7-footer the Bulls should seriously consider:
Darko Milicic of the Orlando Magic.
Yes, that Darko Milicic.
Right now he's considered a bust by many after being selected with the second pick in the stellar 2003 draft class, but Milicic is a highly skilled big man - offensively and defensively - with tremendous potential.
Still only 21, Milicic has the length and athleticism to be a force on either end of the court. In addition to his quick feet and long arms on defense, he has a nice mid-range jumper and a developing low-post game on the offensive end.
Milicic will be a restricted free agent this summer, which means the Magic has the right to match any offer he might receive from another team. Orlando has every intention of keeping him because it envisions Milicic and the 6-11 Dwight Howard forming an inside duo well into the next decade.
The only way the Bulls could acquire Milicic is through a sign-and-trade deal over the summer, and the price won't be cheap - in terms of money and personnel.
He makes a little more than $6 million and will command an annual salary in the $8 million-to-$10 million range for at least three or four years. As for what it will take to tempt the Magic to pull the trigger, a package of Andres Nocioni (also a restricted free agent-to-be) and the Bulls' 2008 first-round pick might do the trick.
The Bulls would hate to lose Nocioni - his toughness and selfless attitude are great intangibles - but you have to give up quality to make the deal attractive to the Magic.
Joining the Bulls likely would aid Milicic's development. Instead of being a focal point of a rebuilding team, he'd be playing on a veteran playoff team and wouldn't face the daily pressure of trying to live up to his draft position. He also would be playing in an area with a large Serbian community and could simply get back to playing and having fun.