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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Magic Trade for Darko, Arroyo

From Tim Povtak at the Orlando Sentinel:

In search of something -- anything -- to shake up a roster gone bad, the Orlando Magic acquired much-maligned forward Darko Milicic and backup point guard Carlos Arroyo from the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday.

The Magic gave up little-used and often-injured center Kelvin Cato and a future first-round draft pick.

Although the Pistons are expected to waive Cato -- getting him only for his expiring contract -- the Magic have plans for Milicic, who has been a bust since the Pistons used the No. 2 pick of the 2003 draft to select him.

"He's a young big guy with a lot of potential,'' said Otis Smith, Magic assistant general manager. "If you're going to take a run at a player, you want to make that run at a 7-foot player.''

The key to the deal was the Magic's future draft pick. The Pistons will receive the pick in 2007 unless it is a top-five pick. If the Magic pick among the top five that year, they keep the pick, and the Pistons automatically get their pick in 2008.

"You have to look at him, at his age and say, 'If he were in the draft this year, where would he go?' " Smith said. "He would go pretty high.''

Milicic, from Serbia, is 20 years old, 7 feet and 250 pounds with good basketball skills. His lack of production with the Pistons has been puzzling because he has athleticism. Former Pistons Coach Larry Brown often questioned his desire and work ethic in his first two years.

Milicic hardly has played with the Pistons, a veteran-filled team that reached the NBA Finals in each of his two seasons. He is averaging just 1.5 points and 1.1 rebounds in 5.6 minutes this season, struggling to find any consistent playing time on the NBA's best team.

Last season he averaged just 1.8 points and 1.2 rebounds in only 6.9 minutes.

The Magic (19-32) are hoping he might develop with considerable playing time on a rebuilding team. They are hoping he could play alongside Dwight Howard, their 20-year-old center/forward.

The departure of Cato leaves only Steve Francis from the Magic's trade of Tracy McGrady to Houston in 2004. Cuttino Mobley was traded to Sacramento last season in exchange for Doug Christie, who hardly played before departing. Cato became the Magic's starting center last season, averaging 7 points and 6.7 rebounds.


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    By Blogger xtremecelticsfan, at February 20, 2006 5:49 PM  

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