There has never been a better time to trade Ersan Ilyasova.
Milwaukee reportedly was peddling the Turkish forward before the draft last season, but couldn’t find an offer to their liking. What exactly would have been to their liking is up for debate, but a first round pick was probably the minimum they would have accepted for the young power forward with an uncertain future, but some upside remaining.
Now? A first round pick seems more than reasonable for one of the league’s hottest players. John Hollinger lists Ilyasova as a member of his “All-Lin Team” compiled of players who would be talked about more right now were Jeremy Lin not setting fire to everything we thought we knew.
He tipped, tapped and touched his way to 25 rebounds against the Nets and tossed in 29 points on a combination of threes, mid-range shots and put backs at the rim. Ersan may not be a star, but, recently blessed with more consistent minutes than he’s ever had before, he’s proving that he’s a legit rebounding force in the league when he’s given the time to be one.
And what potential playoff team couldn’t use a guy like that?
If a potential playoff team wants Ilyasova, you say, then why wouldn’t the Bucks keep him as they attempt to corral the final playoff spot in the East? Maybe the Bucks could make that run, I’ll grant that. It’s not out of the realm of possibility. But what good does that do the team going forward?
I know playoff experience will be cited, but the experience of being on a lifeless team is probably the one most of the players on this squad will take out of this season. They have one dude constantly chirping about how he wants out and another guy who’s openly discussed the lack of effort he’s put forth at times. I’m referring to the team’s supposed leaders right now by the way.
A playoff spot isn’t going to heal those wounds. But you know what would could help? More talented players. Losing Ilyasova for nothing this off-season won’t be fun. It’ll be a rehash of Ramon Sessions or Charlie Villanueva walking away while the Bucks stood idly by. I don’t think either of them had a place in Milwaukee, but a pick or two would have been a nice parting gift at the trade deadline for either one of them.
Maybe the Bucks plan to make a nice offer to Ilyasova come July. In that case, obviously shipping him out isn’t the move to make. He’s all but said it’s going to be about the money for him and the Bucks will have some money to play with this summer. Logic dictates that Stephen Jackson won’t count against the Bucks cap next season, one way or another. Plus, if they decline Shaun Livingston’s option and Beno Udrih opts out, like he’s supposedly considering, there will be ample money available.
If Milwaukee is convinced Ilyasova could be a big part of their future, they can hold on to him.
But if the Bucks are content with Drew Gooden, Larry Sanders and Luc Mbah a Moute up front, by no means should they just let Ilyasova walk. Cash in on the rebounding wave and bid Ilyasova a fond farewell. The Rockets have two first round picks and are in need of another rebounder up front. Maybe they’d be willing to part with one? The Blazers have precious few big men and might be prepared to part with their pick to make up ground in the West. There seem to be some options out there.
For once the Bucks could obtain an asset instead of letting one of their own walk away for nothing as they continue their quest to be average. History indicates that won’t happen though.