Free-agency shocker: Magic mum to Milicic
3:47 PM EDT, July 1, 2007
In a surprising development, the Orlando Magic did not contact Darko Milicic's camp when NBA free agency officially began at 12:01 a.m. today.
The Magic had said they wanted to re-sign Milicic, but by late this afternoon they had yet to call Marc Cornstein, Milicic's agent.
Cornstein conceded he was surprised, because a team's call to a free agents after the courting period begins is seen as at least a good-will gesture, if not an actual precursor to negotiating.
Cornstein told the Sentinel he received calls from more than 10 other teams today about Milicic, including "a few" who made offers, but added, "Curious by their absence was the Orlando Magic."
Cornstein said he called Milicic, who is in his native Serbia, to inform him that the Magic had not called.
"I talked to Darko. I'm not going to lie to him. I told him," Cornstein said.
Milicic, a 7-foot power forward who played the past 1 1/2 seasons with the Magic, is a restricted free agent.
Cornstein was still hopeful that Milicic was in the Magic's plans.
The Magic had said that they wanted Milicic to return, and add a free agent such as small forward Rashard Lewis, who has played in Seattle the past nine seasons.
The Magic might have quickly turned all their attention to Lewis or another free agent. Lewis' agent, Tony Dutt, reportedly was meeting with Sonics General Manager Sam Presti on Sunday in Houston.
The development could mean that the Magic are trying to work a sign-and-trade involving Milicic and Lewis.