I was reading through PistonsForum.com when I came across this little piece out of Sunday's New York Times:
As the Detroit Pistons rush to dispense with the regular season and return to the finals for the third consecutive season, one of their players, Darko Milicic, has been virtually invisible.
Milicic, the No. 2 pick in the 2003 draft, was chosen ahead of players like Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. He entered the weekend averaging 1.6 points and 1.2 rebounds in 5.8 minutes and has not been able to break into the Pistons' well-oiled rotation.
Detroit holds the option for his fourth season, and Joe Dumars, the team president, has become more active in trade discussions.
But it is hard to ascertain Milicic's value because he rarely plays. With the team 39-6 entering last night's game at Indiana, the Pistons are in no hurry to make a deal. They made their blockbuster deadline trade for Rasheed Wallace two years ago; other than gaining depth, they need little but salary relief or draft picks.
Milicic, a 7-footer and only 20, is aware of a trade possibility, but Dumars has also turned down offers to develop his talent.
Milicic's agent, Marc Cornstein, explained his client's approach.
"On one hand, he has tremendous loyalty for Joe, for John Hammond, for the management of Detroit," Cornstein said Friday, referring to Hammond, the Pistons' vice president for basketball operations. "They've really been in his corner.
"That being said, it's two and a half years, and like any player, he'd like to play. He's happy as long as it's a situation where he's given the opportunity to play, and I can't see why a team acquiring him would not want to give him that immediately."
Now, this isn't anything earth-shattering, especially since Cornstein was so polite in professing Darko's appreciation for the Pistons franchise. But was the last part actually Darko's sentiment, or just an agent putting words in his clients mouth while looking out for his best interest? It's tough to say, but it's definitely pretty interesting. If Darko really does want to start campaigning for a trade, I hope he at least has enough sense to keep quiet and let his agent handle things directly with Joe Dumars instead of talking to the club through the press.
Pistons' Milicic Undergoing Long Process Of Maturing [New York Times]