In 2003, It was all or nothing for the Memphis Grizzlies in the NBA Draft..
Number One or bust, due to a trade made when the team was in Vancouver.
The Grizzlies wound up Number 2...but had to give that pick to Detroit..
The Pistons picked 7-foot Serbian Darko Milicic...
Now in 2007, Darko is in Mempho.
After 6 long years of searching...the Grizzlies finally found their big man.
22 year old 7 foot Darko Milicic.
"All I want to do is make this team better and win. Whatever coach wants me to do I'm going to do it. "
Grizzlies Head Coach Marc Iavaroni can't wait to get Milicic in training camp.
"Darko knows we want to run but we also want flexibility and when it's time to set up we also feel we have a lot of fire power."
Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace looks at the practical side of the signing.
"If you look his deal, it's for 3-years. He's only 22 years old... been in the League 4-years. Much like Jermain O'Neal who languished the first 2 years of his career at Portland, then blossomed when he went to Indiana. By the time this deal ends, Darko will be 25 and ready to hit it big as a Free Agent, or we keep him with the right to offer him more than any other club, if he turns out to be as good as we believe he will. I think this it's gonna work out fortuitously for both parties. Both for the Grizzlies and Darko. "
The Serbian national is at an early crossroads in his career.
As the second overall pick in the 2003 draft, he's already had two teams give up on him...Detroit and Orlando.
The big BUT is...he really didn't get much of a chance play...never averaging more than 24 minutes per game.
"I was second pick but I never showed what I can do. I never played the game I was supposed to play. And for next year for me is going to be the year I have to play the best basketball that I can."
now what would a new signing be without a little drama on the front end. There's a newspaper report floating around that says Millicic once said his new teammate Pau Gasol is soft. Not true says the newest Grizzlie and the two talked today.
Darko says it was all a mistake.
"i've said a lot of things in the newspaper I shouldn't have said before but I never said Pau Gasol is soft. No I just told him I can't wait...I can't wait to start playing with him."
And we can't wait to see how this new combination will work out.