Whether or not you think Darko Milicic will ever be a productive big man in the NBA, the Pistons--and most importantly, Joe Dumars--seem ready to make it someone else's concern. Responding to questions about the ever-increasing Orlando trade rumors, Dumars had this to say to Chris McCosky of the Detroit News regarding a potential Darko swap:
"If something doesn't work out, you have to move forward," he said, speaking in generalities. "You are going to make mistakes in this business. The key is to keep moving forward and correct the mistakes as quickly as you can."
Regardless of Joe's generalities, the fact they come in response to a question regarding Darko is telling. At no other time have the Pistons admitted openly that it might be time to move on from the Darko saga. But with the recent barren trade markets for formerly-touted Euro prospects Macej Lampe and Nikoloz Tskitishvili their hand may be forced.
Now for the meat of the proposed trade offer, which the Pistons confirmed to WDFN yesterday afternoon: Detroit would give up Darko and Carlos Arroyo--both little-used and long-rumored to be on the outs--and receive in return Orlando's first-round pick (top-5 or top-7 protected) and Kelvin Cato (he of the expiring $8.5 million contract).
Any trade rumor takes on a life of its own once it appears in print, and this one is no different. "Insiders" at various Piston fan sites have claimed that this deal was already rejected by the Pistons a month ago, and Joe is angling to obtain Magic guard Jameer Nelson in the deal as well. In my mind, this makes much more sense than just the proposed deal. The Pistons could use some insurance in case Lindsey isn't ready to be a regular contributor, and cap space and a top 5- or top 7-protected pick (in what is generally considered to be a poor draft) does very little to improve the team in the short-term, which should always be a consideration (albeit not always the main one) for any legitimate finals contender.