Nets sign Serb center Ilic, '05 second-round pick
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Mile Ilic, the raw Serbian center the Nets drafted in the second round in 2005, signed with New Jersey on Wednesday.
ESPN Insider Chad Ford described Serbian center Mile Ilic this way before the 2005 draft:
Ilic surprised a lot of people by keeping his name in the draft. He's a young, talented, big man who has really come on of late. Recently (in 2005) had an impressive 24-point, 10-rebound, two-block performance in front of a number of NBA scouts during the Serbia playoffs. Apparently that sealed the deal. Ilic doesn't have a buyout this year, so he may not come over right away.
Contract terms were not immediately available.
General manager Ed Stefanski said the 22-year-old Ilic is bigger and stronger than current Nets starting center Nenad Krstic was when he arrived here as a 20-year-old.
"On the offensive end he's definitely more advanced," Stefanski said. "My question is how he picks up the speed of the game and the lateral, pick-and-roll, helping and getting back on defense."
The 7-foot-2 Ilic averaged 8.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in helping FMP Zeleznik Beograd win its second Adriatic League championship in three years.
A member of the Serbian national team, he also played on the gold medal winning team at the 2003 World University Games.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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