Pistons Trade Milicic to Magic, Get Cato

From the Associated Press

Only 2 1/2 seasons after making him the second pick in the NBA draft, the Detroit Pistons traded forward-center Darko Milicic on Wednesday to the Orlando Magic along with Carlos Arroyo for a first-round selection and center Kelvin Cato.

Detroit drafted Milicic, 20, three years ago after LeBron James and ahead of Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. But Milicic barely played as a Piston.

“We feel like this is a good trade for our team and gives our organization flexibility as we move forward this season and in the future,” said Joe Dumars, the Pistons’ president of basketball operations.


The 7-foot, 245-pound Milicic played in 96 games in three seasons, averaging 1.6 points, 1.2 rebounds and 5.8 minutes.

“I think he needs a chance. He’s a very skilled 7-foot basketball player that can shoot the ball from the elbow, top-of-the-key area, 15-17 foot range,” Magic Assistant General Manager Otis Smith said. “I think he just needed a change.”

In return, the Pistons acquired a first-round pick and future salary-cap space when Cato’s $8 million-plus contract expires this summer.

If Orlando’s first-round pick next year is No. 5 or better, the Magic will keep it. If it’s not, the Pistons will acquire the Magic’s 2008 first-round slot.

Cato, 31, is averaging 3.8 points and 2.7 rebounds, but hasn’t played since spraining his ankle Jan. 18. Arroyo, 26, is averaging 3.2 points and 3.1 assists.


The Portland Trail Blazers fined guard Sebastian Telfair an unspecified amount after a loaded gun was found in his pillowcase before takeoff at Boston’s Logan Airport on the team’s private flight to Toronto, the team said.

Telfair explained to local authorities that the gun belonged to his girlfriend and that he had inadvertently grabbed the wrong bag when leaving for a trip, which began on Feb. 7. The gun is registered in Oregon to Samantha Rodriguez, Telfair’s girlfriend of five years, authorities said.

The matter was turned over to the Massachusetts Port Authority, which said no charges would be filed. The NBA is reviewing the matter.


Minnesota Timberwolf guard Troy Hudson is considering season-ending surgery on his sore right ankle, which kept him out of his seventh straight game Wednesday.


Rudy Tomjanovich, former coach of the Houston Rockets and the Lakers, was named director of scouting for the U.S. men’s national team.

Tomjanovich, who coached the U.S. to a gold medal in the 2000 Olympics, will oversee the scouting of opponents for the world championships in Japan next summer and for the 2008 Olympics.