Milicic will turn 18 on June 20, six days before the draft. According to the NBA, however, to be eligible a player must be 18 by May 12, the deadline for applying for the draft. Milicic's New York City-based agent, Marc Cornstein, believes that the collective bargaining agreement is ambiguous on this point, and he may go to arbitration to have Milicic declared eligible.
There may be another twist in the Darko Affair: One of Europe's top G.M.'s says he's sure that Milicic has already turned 19. "I know through a very well informed Yugoslav that Milicic was born in Bosnia," says Antonio Maceiras, of F.C. Barcelona. "After the civil war in Yugoslavia his family moved to Serbia, and they registered him as born in 1985 when he actually was born in 1983. They did not bring any papers from Bosnia, so their word was the only documentation."
It is common in some European countries for young players to lie about their ages in hope of making themselves seem more precocious. But a scout who has met Milicic doubts that he is 19, saying, "He isn't even shaving yet." Maceiras's assertion came as news to Cornstein, who has been associated with Milicic for less than a year. "I wish it were true," he says. "If it was, then we wouldn't be having any problem getting him into the draft. But I don't believe it's true."
Also affected by the league's draft eligibility guidelines is Greek center Sofoklis (Baby Shaq) Schortsianitis, who will turn 18 two days after Milicic. His agent, Marc Fleisher, is also prepared to go to arbitration over the NBA's interpretation of its rule, fueled by the view of some scouts that Schortsianitis will be a lottery pick in June. But one scout who has seen the 285-pound Baby Shaq says he is closer to 6'8" than his listed 6'10", and Maceiras is skeptical of his potential. "He has no talent, just physical skills," he says. "For me it is unbelievable that he could be among the top European prospects; he won't even be a big-time player in Europe."