Rivers: Milicic 'most likely' won't return to Celtics

Rivers: Milicic 'most likely' won't return to Celtics
November 20, 2012, 8:31 pm
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WALTHAM, MA The Boston Celtics are in the process of severing ties with Darko Milicic.

"Most likely, yes," was C's head coach Doc Rivers' response when asked if Milicic's time in Boston was over.

Milicic is in Europe with his ill mother and may consider staying there instead of returning to Boston.

Rivers acknowledged that the situation with Milicic's mother had been discussed previously, and that his decision to leave the team did not come as a surprise.

"We've talked about it three or four times," Rivers said.

The Celtics signed Milicic to a one-year deal for the veteran's minimum before the season. If Milicic does not return, the Celtics would likely waive him and reach some type of buy-out agreement, which would then create an open roster spot.

There isn't a very deep pool of free agents still available, but one player who will get some consideration in forward Kenyon Martin.

Rivers did not sound overly optimistic about the Celtics adding another player to replace Milicic on the C's roster.

"We're going to look around, but I can tell you that we are in no rush," Rivers said.

Milicic's departure ends a run that saw him play just five minutes, a signal of just how little impact this former No. 2 overall pick had on the Celtics roster.

And while his struggles certainly weren't helped by the steadily-improving play of Chris Wilcox, there was no doubt in Rivers' mind that the health issues affecting Milicic's family wore on him mentally.

"You could see a change with him when he found out his mom wasn't doing well," Rivers said. "There's no doubt about that."

Rivers added, "I told him he has to do what he thinks is right. I'm going to support him one way or another."