The Memphis Grizzlies have announced the signing of Darko Milicic to a 3 year, $21 million contract. (According to Ric Bucher) The ramifications of this deal however, go far beyond the Grizzlies lineup. The signing of Darko also has a profound impact on the futures of both Anderson Varejao and Mikki Moore.
Varejao: It has been well documented in the past few weeks that the Grizzlies were seeking an athletic big man to pair with Pau Gasol, and their pursuit of free agents such as Anderson Varejao and Andres Nocioni arguably drove up the asking price for those players. With the signing of Darko however, the Grizzlies will no longer be out there to sign Varejao to an offer sheet. What this likely means is that Varejao will end up staying in Cleveland at a much lower price than he would have received if the Grizzlies had signed him to an offer sheet. Many people had speculated that if the Grizzlies signed Varejao to a contract too far above the mid level exception that the luxury tax wary Cavs would be faced with an extremely difficult choice; either let Varejao leave and focus on signing Sasha Pavlovic, or match the offer sheet and risk going over the luxury tax. The signing of Darko eliminates that difficult quandry alltogether.
Moore: The other player that is affected by the signing of Darko is New Jersey's free agent center Mikki Moore. According to reports Moore has rejected a 3 year, $10 million offer from the Nets and was set to meet this week with Golden State, Chicago,
and Memphis. Now that Memphis is out of the running Moore could find it extremely difficult to find much more than the $10 million the Nets have on the table. And if he isn't able to find it, New Jersey may no longer be an option as the Nets have already made contact with Jamaal Magloire. Moore now finds himself in an extremely difficult spot, as he is 31 years old and has had very little playing time or success before this past season. If he has burned bridges with the Nets could quickly realize that not many teams are willing to pay big for an aging and unproven player.