Nets sign Serb center Ilic, '05 second-round pick

Updated: September 13, 2006, 2:56 PM ET
Associated Press

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.

Ford: Ilic young, talented
Chad Ford
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