Shortly after a report that the Knicks and Timberwolves had agreed to swap Darko Milicic for Brian Cardinal in principle, the Timberwolves issued a press release confirming the transaction:
No word yet on how much money Minneesota received, but both players have expiring contracts and Milicic's salary is only $790,000 more than Cardinal's. New York will save that annual salary difference in luxury tax, plus the difference in remaining salary owed to Milicic and Cardinal (it's less than $400k, so rather trivial), less the cash they sent to Minnesota for their troubles.
Milicic is a 7-footer who's got some toughness. Sound familiar? It shouldn't. The Wolves don't have anyone like that. In the two seasons he averaged over 20 minutes per game, Milicic made 150 appearances and averaged about 8 points and 6 boards with almost 2 blocks. Not numbers that will set the world on fire, but given the Wolves' non-existent futile atrocious heinous dreadful no-good interior defense Milicic brings the muscle and shot-blocking they currently lack.
The question remains as to whether or not having Milicic for the rest of the season will be worthwhile since he made it known earlier this season that he plans to head back to Europe after this season, following an NBA career that disappointed both him and the teams he's played for.
The move doesn't carry any risk for Minnesota: if Darko turns out to be a negative presence, I'm sure he'd gladly accept a buyout, or even a Blount Order. It may come down to a purely financial move in retrospect if playing for the Wolves doesn't convince Darko to go make millions more in tax free salary playing for a European team that gives him free housing and transportation. The Wolves best return may be an improved reputation in Europe if they treat Darko nicely. Any ideas on how that might benefit them?