Darko Milicic has left the Boston Celtics and will no longer return to the organization. He reportedly left the team to be with his sick mother back in Europe. The Celtics signed him this off-season to the veteran’s minimum and it was one of those “maybe we will catch lightening in a bottle” type of deals. There were really no crazy expectations for Milicic and the team signed him as just an emergency big man in case they suffered a myriad of injuries.
A lot of people in the Boston area felt Milicic perhaps deserved more playing time as the team has yet to find a capable true backup center. Milicic offered great size but you only get so many chances after being the number two overall pick in the NBA Draft. He was a joruneyman and it appears his NBA playing career has ended.
Milicic performed very well in the pre season and it appeared even at one point that he might earn a spot in the regular rotation. Jason Collins, whom the team signed in the off season, is not a professional level player anymore and it appeared Milicic might have had a path towards some backup center minutes. That obviously did not become the case as the Celtics went small, with Jared Sullinger, Chris Wilcox, and Jeff Green as the back-up big men. Against teams such as the Miami Heat, it is a disadvantage to have a true center at times because of how small they play. They consistently play Lebron James at the power forward position and you cannot combat that by playing Collins in that lineup.
The Celtics will be perfectly fine without Milicic but it would not be surprising to say the least to see the team kick the tires on potential replacements as the season moves forward.
Rob Lunder covers the Boston Celtics for Rant Sports. For all Celtics news go to the team homepage on Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @rlunder18