So is this Ersan Ilyasova deal a bargain, a steal or another in a long line of mistakes?

Ilyasova was all smiles when the Bucks announced his re-signing. (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)

Obviously I’m not the highest on the resigning of Ersan Ilyasova. Or on most of the things the Milwaukee Bucks have done over the past couple of years. I was still under the Fear the Deer spell through the Stephen Jackson move, but since then, the Mike Dunleavy deal was fine and draft picks are draft picks, but I’ve been pretty meh on most things Bucks.

It’s more of a philosophy thing than anything. I think John Hammond is fine and under the right circumstances, I’m sure he could flourish. But Milwaukee isn’t the right circumstances. So I’ve been a fairly grouchy dude for a good while now.

So when Ilyasova was brought back at a reported $45 million over five years, I did one eye roll that lasted about 20 minutes and moved on. Reports eventually clarified that the deal more realistically is about $32 million over four years when factoring in options and bonuses and such.
So, not as bad. But I’m still not calling my friends and telling them to sign up for season tickets or anything.

Matt Moore feels like I’m being a bit harsh on the deal. When Ken Berger reported Ilyasova deal specifics, he and I tweeted back and forth a bit.

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  1.  jeremyschmidt 
    If you controlled the bucks, what would the “plan” be? How would we obtain the star player?
    How many current top 10 players play for the San Antonio Spurs?
    How did Jason Kidd at 50 yrs old play such effective defense at times against Lebron James and Dwayne Wade in the previous finals and why were younger more athletic defenders from BOS and OKC so much less effective?

      •  @jeremyschmidt 
        It could work…. Not sure Im ready to suffer through the tanking though. maybe consecutive years of getting trampled in the first or second round of the playoffs would convince me further.

        •  @sillybilly It’s just personally what I prefer after watching this team my whole life. When were they good? When they had Allen and Robinson and Cassell. How did they get them? Two top five draft picks and one as as result of the Vin Baker pick working out very well. 
          PIcks led to the only serious, next level success (conference finals) this team has had in 25 years. That’s indisputable.

        •  @jeremyschmidt
          I hear you, but the success of the Bucks over the past 6 years could have been radically different had they not had such misfortune with Bogut and Redd. I mean truly has any other team in the league had such rotten luck?  A healthy Redd (late round pick) in combination with a healthy Bogut really could have achieved an equal measure of success as the Cassell/Dog/Allen squad.
          If we were to tank it should have been last year or two seasons ago when we could have done it gracefully, we’re too talented now. In order to tank now Hammond would have to deliberately implode our roster and trade our best assets like Houston just did. Jennings and Ilyasova would probably bring the most value, Harris and Henson are too young and cheap to be moved. If Hammond did something like that I would actually be pretty satisfied, but at the same time I’m curious about how good this roster can be and whether MIL is truly unable to lure a meaningful FA in the future. Also, not all draft classes are equal. Brandon Jennings at 10 will probably turn out to be of equal caliber to John Wall at 1 when all is said and done.
          I wont antagonize your opinions any further, we’ll see what happens.

  2. The question shouldn’t be “Was the Ersan signing a good deal?” It should be, “Was the Ersan signing a good deal for the Bucks?” If I can buy an awesome car stereo system for only $200, it would be considered a good deal – unless I don’t have a car, in which case I spent $200 for no reason. Ersan is a good player and the market for players like him may well be above what the Bucks ended up paying. However, he doesn’t make them a title contender, he doesn’t make them more attractive to free agents, and he doesn’t create that “I gotta see this guy play” sort of buzz that packs the arena every night. If the Nets made this deal (although it would have cost them significantly more after taxes were figured in), it would have been a good deal, because they have two really good/great players already and Ersan could be that extra piece that gets them to the conference finals or beyond. For the Bucks, he’s the piece that could get them the seven seed and a first round exit in the playoffs. Again, if that’s all you hope for in an NBA franchise, then Ersan’s deal was fantastic. If you hold out hope that the Bucks can somehow recapture that 1971 magic, then the Bucks just bought the stereo when they don’t have a car.

    •  @BuckNuggets 
      Ok so Im beating a dead horse here, but I want to challenge the “Top ten star or tank” strategy that everyone is insisting is the only way to go. Allow me to play devils advocate:
      Hypothetically if the bucks were to clean house and land the #1 pick in the next two drafts, is there any certainty that they would be able to assemble a team that can compete with Miami or OKC before the high draft pick’s rookie contracts expire and they leave for bigger markets? How likely is it that the picks are anywhere near the talent of a top ten player in the first place and how fast can they develop? Can Milwaukee ever expect in any real scenario that solid role players take big pay-cuts to come play with their promising squad as continually happens in Miami, Boston, LA etc?
      I don’t think the Bucks can play the same game that the Miamis and LAs can. Cleveland certainly couldn’t do it. I think the likelihood for MIL to become great by landing overachieving players in the mid to late rounds of the draft is equal to the likelihood of them tanking and picking up and maintaining top ten talent. Once again I will cite SA as an example of  a team not having a top ten player and yet being capable of winning it all if they get hot. SA has been very lucky with some mid to late round picks, but they always seem to be bringing in little-known solid contributors so it is probably a bit more than luck. The Bucks on the other hand have been cursed with the worst of luck. The two corner-stone players of the franchise, Michael Redd and Andrew Bogut, lost virtually all value through injury. Thats like a 6 year black hole sucking away franchise resources and we’ve just moved out of it so chill. Also there have been some dumb moves in the Hammond era that I don’t want to cover. So maybe skiles isn’t Papovich but personally I’d like to give him a shot to build the blue-collar bucks.
      The hard part about ever compiling a team in Milwaukee that can compete with the Heat is the “star-centric” nature of rules and officiating in the NBA. The rules have gradually been modified for marketing reasons to allow flashy players with athleticism to be rewarded for barreling into clogged lanes and drawing body contact when in any other league (college or international) they wouldn’t be bailed out by the refs as often and would end up looking silly. The decision to not allow hand-checking post Jordan era has really had a negative effect on the game IMO. I still think fundamentals can win out though, if Jason Kidd can keep his body in front of LBJ and limit his game to an extent, then some of these younger guys are capable of doing the same…..but I’m not seeing it from Brandon Bass and other young guys 

      •  @sillybilly  The Spurs only ever won the title when Duncan was one of the 5 best players in the world.

        •  @sillybilly And the rules were more “star-centric” in the 90s when hand-checking was allowed and zones weren’t allowed. Now zones are allowed and hand-checking isn’t, that means there are less isos because help defenders can overload the strong side.
          And have you watched any of the Olympics: they call everything. As for college refs, they are vastly more incompetent. There isn’t even a unified way to call the rules in college. Each conference demands something different from the refs.

        •  @Ian_Segovia 
          umm yea well the spurs were contenders last year – meaning if they played their best basketball they were capable of beating any team in the league in a 7 game series. They didn’t play their best at the end. I think most people would agree with this.
          Only 1 of 30 teams in the league wins a title, being a fan of a real contender is always exciting.

        •  @Ian_Segovia
          you are right about zones but eliminating hand checking as a defensive tool gives the offensive player a huge advantage whether a zone or man to man scheme is being used. I haven’t been watching the olympics so you are probably right.
          as far as college, Im not saying the refs make really good judgments, but they seem to err on the side of defense whereas the NBA refs call more phantom fouls than real. I think the NBA bails guys out for driving aggressively into defenders if they sell it and go up hard, or if they are a star player; whereas in college if you go aggressively into a defensively occupied area u cant count on getting the call even if you draw contact.
          If the NBA was officiated more like college team work would become a little more important and star players a little less. Its a pretty common argument which many people use to explain why they love the NCAA but wont watch the NBA.

        •  @sillybilly The Spurs did play their best basketball, they just met a better team in OKC. Did you really not think a team in the middle of a 20 game win streak wasn’t playing their best basketball? Or is it more likely that OKC made adjustments at the right time? Or that OKC was just faster, stronger and better?
          I would take being able to implement a zone rather over hand checking as a defensive strategy any day of the week. No zone gives an individual player more of an advantage than no hand checking. Or do you not remember that the NBA was nothing but isos for the longest time.? That Allen Iverson, Vince Carter, etc flourished under an iso offense because no there was no help for their defenders. Now there’s not much iso in the NBA because good defenses will eat it up.
          And having great players is just as important in college or did Kentucky not just win with a loaded team. Don’t mistake incompetence in college for teamwork.
          Also common arguments used by a lot of people does not equal a good argument.

        •  @Ian_Segovia
          Hey we disagree, thats ok, so let me offer my parting arguments:
          Actually the spurs blew pretty hard the second half of that series. Parker went from superstar to turnover machine. Serge Ibaka went 11/11 fg one game, Durant/Westbrook started playing out of their minds as though they were the Spurs from the previous 20 games, and Derek Fisher was super-clutch. Just because you don’t win the championship doesn’t mean your team is not a contender. The Spurs were favored before the series started, if they were to play any team in the league including the Heat in a 7 game series they would have a legitimate chance as would be reflected in gambling odds. The bucks for example would not. The Celts on paper are clearly not better than the Heat, but somehow they took them to game 7, crazy stuff can happen.
          This was one of the more talented NCAA classes in recent history and Kentucky probably had more talent compared to the NCAA field than the Heat do compared to the rest of the NBA. but let me remind you that Butler was in the Championship 2x not too long ago with a bunch of goofy players who played well together. This is a regular occurrence, March Madness is full of underdog teams that succeed purely from teamwork, the NBA not so much.
          Its not even really arguable that the College and NBA games aren’t different. Whether you like one or the other is your thing. College TV ratings almost triple the NBA though, and NBA ratings have fallen off since the Bulls were great in the 90s. IMO there is a reason for this which is apparent when viewing ESPNclassic.
          for NBA vs college rule differences read this:

          Im out peace.

        •  @Ian_Segovia 
          Also the Spurs were at the end of a 20 game win streak, not the middle, probably due for some losses.

        •  @Ian_Segovia 
          yea bleacher report, great source huh? it was the only page i could find comparing NBA to NCAA rules.

  3. I think the deal was good at 8 million a year. I’m a big fan of Ilyasova and, even if last year was a fluke, his effort level has always been tremendous and that’s the one thing you could always guarantee from him, which is the one major reason I can live with this deal. I understand completely where you’re coming from Jeremy, as far as why it was probably pointless to bring him back. But unfortunately, we’re stuck being a team that’s not good enough to be a major contender, but not bad enough to be lower than an eighth or ninth seed. 

  4. It sure is great to see Yi kicking but in the Olympics.. isn’t that how he duped us?
    There is no way that anyone is gonna convince me that Ersan’s deal is a steal, but I do believe it may have been necessary.. at minimum to keep some continuity and momentum.. I don’t know that any team wants to lose it’s hardest on-court effort player, and his contract is just what the market dictated
    That being said this contract would be a non-issue if we had moved Gooden’s contract, a poor mans(but really rich) version of Ilya.. should have moved him for a quality wing or backup center

      •  @jeremyschmidt Yeah “momentum” was probably a bad word choice, especially after we finished last year..
        And as usual agree to disagree on what the Bucks should do for the future.. tanking doesn’t guarantee anything, and there are plenty of examples of champions that were made through free agency and trades.. Do agree that they get at least one star through the draft, but we don’t even know what this version of the Bucks looks like.. We have speed and length, and could finish as high as 5th.
        Then we make a little noise in the playoffs and all of a sudden we are looking attractive to prospective free agents

  5. Im not too worried about the contract with it being $40m/5yr, its just if he lives up to last years production. He was helped in the rebounding category due to the absence of bogut & with gooden at C.  If he lives up then great, would love to see  jennings/ellis/ilyasova lead the team.But personally I wouldve liked to have seen what other teams wouldve offered.

  6. Jeremy, you tweeted: “@HPbasketball and if you don’t have a guy to build around, who cares how mug you’re saving on a complementary player anyway. Just my feeling”  Do you really believe this?  If so, no wonder you are so pessimistic – if you’re not playing for the title, right now, what’s the point, right?  You lead me to believe that if you were the GM of over half the teams in the league (including teams like the Pacers, the 76ers, the Spurs, the Hawks, the Grizzlies, the Nuggets, and the Jazz) or the 2004 Detroit Pistons, you’d refrain from signing any “complimentary” type free agent to a contract any more expensive than something akin to highway robbery?  And just throw in the towel unless and until you’ve got “a guy to build around”?  Keep in mind, of course, that such a guy will probably never sign with a small market team like Milwaukee, and will DEFINITELY never sign to a team that refrains from signing talented, young, and desirable complimentary players to market-reasonable contracts.  And of course there’s the question of how a franchise will attract fans and revenue if it perpetually tanks until it acquires that guy.  And how fun to watch the league will be with over half the teams refusing to sign complimentary players to market-reasonable contracts.

    •  @andyxc13 Guys to build around are obtained through the draft – not via free agency. There are exceptions of course, but for a small market, that is how it’s done.
      If a team isn’t trying to put itself in position for a title, what is it doing? Pacers/Sixers/Hawks eat mediocrity for breakfast every day. Pacers are a good team, but obviously aren’t going any further than they did last season. If that’s what you’re into, that’s just fine. I just don’t like it.
      I think signing a guy like Dunleavy to a short team deal or any role player to a one or two year deal is fine. But if you’re making long term signings with mid to high mid level money, what’s the point. Find me some of these deals that make sense and maybe I’ll back off that position. 
      The 2004 Pistons aren’t happening again. Look at … EVERY OTHER TITLE TEAM EVER. Stars, stars and more stars. Accept you’re a bad team, own it for a few years and hoard draft picks like you’re on A&E. That’s just what I prefer. If people prefer the Hawks of the last six or seven years or last year’s Pacers, that’s just fine. I don’t judge that. But it isn’t my thing.

      •  @jeremyschmidt It’s not anybody’s “thing” because it’s a strawman argument: why accept mediocrity when the exclusive alternative is tanking, hoarding draft picks, building a team full of stars through the draft and reaping the rewards?  The reality is that tanking is no guarantee to work,.  Did you notice something about those teams you listed, the Pacers, 76ers and Hawks (and I’ll add the Grizzlies as well)?  Wait, weren’t their cores assembled via the draft?  I mean, what do you want them to do?  Should every team that doesn’t currently have at least one or two of the best 10-15 players in the NBA stop trying?

        •  @andyxc13  @jeremyschmidt 
          Andy, Great statement above. You said what I’ve been trying to say but with far fewer words. With all due respect this idea that everyone should only try if they have one of the leagues top players is illogical, not to mention immature and dull.

        •  @sillybilly  @andyxc13 I’m not sure if it’s dull or immature, but maybe it’s wrong.
          All I know is I’ve been watching the Bucks try and do it the other way for a super long time. Hasn’t worked out so well. 
          Pacers/Sixers/Hawks didn’t really assemble their cores through high draft picks. I’ll give you the Hawks, but how many top five picks are on the Pacers and Sixers? Pacers followed the model the Bucks are on.
          The Sixers did one time build through the draft. Got a guy named Iverson. Made the NBA Finals because they had him.
          Novel idea.

        •  @jeremyschmidt  
          It definitely makes the league dull if there is only one path to success, and its immature in the sense that these superstars all need to team up rather than allowing things to work organically. But maybe its just becoming a reality.
          Also “EVERY OTHER TITLE TEAM EVER” may have had a star, but the stars weren’t all top 5 or top 10 picks.

        •  @jeremyschmidt  If you’re allowed to say that no team will ever replicate the 2004 Pistons again (considering it happened only 8 years ago, and they absolutely dominated the HOFer-laden Lakers, so a questionable statement either way), you also prohibited from citing the early 2000s 76ers, who were the best bad team to come out of a horrible, star-deprived Eastern Conference.  (Oh and I semi-seriously think that either Jennings or Ellis could score 31.1 ppg on 42/32/81% shooting if they were allowed to play 42 mpg and jack up 25.5 shots/game.)
          I do not disagree with you that landing a can’t-miss talent guy can bring excitement and hope and success.  What I am trying to do is point out that this seemingly obvious path to success is not nearly as likely to work as you (and others) seem to think.  Wasn’t John Wall a can’t-miss star?  How are the Wizards looking these days?  How about the Bobcats, how many top 5 picks have they gotten and how did that turn out?  What do Blazer fans think after the Roy-Aldridge-Oden dynasty?  Here were the #1 picks from ’98-’01: Olowakandi, Elton Brand, Kenyon Martin, and Kwame Brown.  The Toronto Raptors had a string of draft picks from ’03-’06 of #4, #8, #7, #16, #1, how’d that turn out?
          I guess my main issue here is that you seem to be crying foul over the overarching plan here, which in my opinion is different than the Ersan re-signing.  Isn’t there a distinction to be made between re-signing a good, young, talented and versatile player to a market-reasonable contract on the one hand, and on the other hand Richard Jefferson, John Salmons, Corey Maggette, Stephen Jackson, Dan Gadzuric, Michael Redd, Hakim Warrick, Bobby Simmons, etc., etc., etc.?  The Bucks may have issues with their plan and whatever goals may be attainable through it, but I do not agree that re-signing Ersan to this contract is one of them.

        •  @andyxc13 No it isn’t as easy as it sounds, or as I make it sound or as the Thunder have made it look. The path to a title that runs along lottery lane has teams that couldn’t execute on that plan littered along the sides of it for sure.
          But the Bucks have been doing this other thing forever. I’m tired of it. Why not take a chance and try something different? I’d much rather have a few of the moments that Roy/Aldridge/Oden group had than most of the moments I’ve had as a Bucks fan over the last 20 years.The tank plan requires luck, a talented general manager to carry out the picks and a little more luck.
          Signing Ersan is fine. He’s fine. Maybe it is different than getting Jefferson or any other middling player. It’s just hard for me to care at this point, having cared so hard for so long.  
          The whole thing is exhausting and probably hopeless either way. I respect that you’re willing to debate the matter in a civil way – kudos to you.

        •  @jeremyschmidt As others have stated, I think the Bucks as constructed are just too talented to jump ship wholesale.  They have a lot of young guys (26, 25, 25, 25, 23, 22, 21, 20 and 20, to go along with the “old vets” of 31, 31, 30 and 30), who may be unlikely to ever win a championship together, but I don’t think the organization can give up on them at this point, especially when it’s got to sell tickets.  Who’s to say a playoff appearance (and maybe even a second-round exit) wouldn’t be a great experience for the city of Milwaukee?  And who knows, this season may be the turning point in either direction, with a lot of contracts concluding or reaching option years after this season.  I mean, you’ve got to think we’ll know whether Ellis and/or Jennings are part of the long-term future by the time the trade deadline passes next winter.
          Not to mention that perhaps Hammonds isn’t done constructing the final version of this year’s roster – he’s got to move a PF or two, right?

        •  @jeremyschmidt 
          All of this arguing is pretty exhausting. Ive been a fan of the Bucks for two decades and they have disappointed me pretty consistently, but if you only measure success by championships then you’re probably rooting for the wrong team. Being a bucks fan requires being excited by the prospect of winning a division title and realizing that a championship could be a once in a lifetime occurence. We are blessed with the Packers, but the Bucks and Brewers require a totally different expectation. I liken it to soccer, It takes a long time but when you finally score its that much sweeter.

        • Like everything you said there. Expectations for the Bucks (and Brewers) do have to be tempered based on how their respective leagues are set up to favor big markets. However, I think that changing expectations means we change how we look at how our team is assembled. The only time the Bucks won a title, they lucked out and got KAJ with the first pick. They haven’t been quite so lucky over the last 40 or so years. Before I go to that great Bradley Center in the sky, I would like to see them get lucky like that again. All I’m saying is up those chances to get lucky by doing everything they can to A.) aquire as many first round draft picks as they can (Ted Thompson refers to it as getting more bites of the apple),  and B.) playing those young players consistently so they can develop as much as possible. The more chances we have to draft and develop young players, the better chance we have of finding that next star. Until then, I’m content supporting a team that is young, but plays hard each and every night.

        •  @sillybilly  @jeremyschmidt The Bucks haven’t been a division title contender for over a decade. So even by your expectations, they’re a huge disappointment.

        •  @Ian_Segovia
          Yea I stated that they’ve consistently dissappointed me for the past decade. but I still love’em. Im excited about their chances in the division going forward. Obviously you’re not which makes for pretty boring reading material because pretty much every other wisconsinite has that attitude whoopty-doo.

        •  @Ian_Segovia @BuckNuggets 
          “Football strategy doesn’t apply to basketball”
          Umm actually evaluating and developing talent is important in both leagues. Everything said there made quite a bit of sense especially considering that rookie contracts are so cheap in the NBA.
          I wouldn’t doubt TT could make a good NBA GM.

        •  @sillybilly  @BuckNuggets Yes evaluating and developing talent is important in both leagues. It’s important in every sport. It’s important in every job hire, but you’d be looked at like a crazy person if you tried to hire the same way people draft. 
          Football strategy would apply to basketball if everything is in a vaccuum, but you’re not looking at the differences that affect talent evaluation. Like the fact that a football roster has 53 players and basketball only has 15. Or that in basketball you’re drafting someone that can do multiple things, in football you’re ultimately drafting a specialist.
          The biggest thing: have you ever looked at the CBA. You can’t just stockpile 8 guys on their rookie contracts on an NBA team because then you’d have to offer a bunch of terrible contracts just to hit the salary floor which would hurt your flexibility to keep any of those rookies.
          Or let’s say you do get a bunch of good role players that are somewhat decent. The new CBA prevents teams from keeping those guys together with harsher luxury tax restrictions and smaller contracts with less years available. This is why the Thunder have to choose between keeping Ibaka or Harden, but guess what they’ll be alright because they have Durant. The new CBA absolutely favors that you have one great player because all the other good talent you have immediately has to move to other teams. So taking the time to build a team of role players with great chemistry is worthless because they’ll most of them will all be gone before that chemistry even takes place.
          Superstars make role players better. Lebron makes everyone around him better because he can do everything which frees Shane Battier to just shoot threes and play defense. You’ve mentioned the Spurs before as a team of role players. Tony Parker was an MVP candidate this year. He as second-team all-NBA. His skills made the rest of the Spurs better. They weren’t without a star.
          Having one star will help you survive the CBA. Having one star will allow you to bring in any role player and allow that role player to immediately thrive instead of worrying whether that role will fit the team’s chemistry. It’s  a much harder juggling act with a team of role players. You have to fit each role and make sure all those guys like each other.

        •  @sillybilly Do you call everyone that disagrees with you boring? Or do you use different names in arguments?
          What’s really messed up is that you characterize the entire site as anti-Bucks even though I’ve written several very positive articles about the Bucks and there are positive articles all over the website. There are two on the front page even!
          Thank you for being callously insulting.

        • @Ian_Segovia
          never claimed T Parker wasn’t a star,  but he’s not a top ten (or 15?) player nor was he drafted high both of which seems to be an absolute requirement for NBA success in the opinion that I was disputing.
          Also, the strategy @bucksnuggets laid out still makes plenty of sense because if your draft picks are starting and you just need random vets to reach salary floor then you simply offer a bunch of bad 1 year contracts. Or is there something in the CBA about a minimum amount of contract  years? Also he didnt say evaluate players exactly the same as football, he just said continually obtain young players and let them play immediately until you strike gold. I think you are just arguing for the sake of argument
          A lot of people in this comments section also spoke against the dire need for a top 10 star. What the Miami Heat have done is most definitely boring, almost as boring as watching shaq in his heyday. But I guess its also exciting to hope that a less talented team can knock them off.  In addition to talent, a lot of fans really value player development, hustle, strategy, and teamwork. Im interested to see how the Bucks can develop in these areas and what they can achieve even if they dont have class A talent. You said the Bucks have been a total disappointment the last ten years, but in my opinion they’ve pretty much done as expected when the top two players who they’ve invested a large amount of cap in are continually jacked up with injuries.The injuries were the main cause of futility, not the middling strategy. And also Larry Harris was a terrible GM. Hammond is learning. Today is a new day.

        • haha and no man i didnt “characterize the entire site as anti-bucks”
          I enjoy everyone on the staff’s writing and usually read every new posted story, I just happen to feel really passionately (prob a tad too much) about the hot topic of this comments section. Also we have a young team with a shot at the division this year, I feel pretty optimistic and as a bucks fan I can weather any unfortunate dissappointment pretty well.

    • While the word “tank” has been used over and over, I don’t think that’s exactly what the Bucks need to do. The last time the Bucks really tanked was the year they got Yi, and you’re exactly right, tanking doesn’t always work. What I would love to see the Bucks do is stockpile draft picks, let the young kids play, and deal players who have peaked if they can’t help win a championship. Last year, they should have dealt Ersan at the deadline and picked up a first rounder for him (If Sessions is worth a first rounder, Ersan certainly is). If they were willing to pick up a bad contract as part of the trade, they might have been able to pick up a second first rounder. By this point, we know what Ersan is, a solid player but not a game changer, so trade him and get some value.
      This offseason, trade or amnesty Gooden. He isn’t worth the contract he signed and he keeps the young guys off the court.  I like the Dalembert trade. A decent center in the last year of a contract that will either open up salary cap room at the end of the season or another possible trade chip at the deadline for a team who wants to add depth for a playoff push, or unload a bad contract (for the cost of a first rounder, of course). 
      I would also let every other GM in the league know that Ellis and Moute are available. While Ellis would have more value next year (last year of a big contract) if you can get value for him (draft picks) move him. Moute is what he is at this point. Some team may need a defender to make a run, but his best position is already clogged with young players so his value to the Bucks is as trade bait.
      This year, the Bucks would start Jennings, Ellis, Harris, Henson, Dalembert, with Udoh, Sanders, and Lamb all getting serious run (plus whomever they got with the Ersan draft pick).  They would have Beno, Dalembert, and Dunleavy all in the final years of their contracts as potential trades.  While this isn’t technically tanking, the Bucks would be lucky to win 25-30 games with this unit. It would, however, give everyone a chance to see if the young guns can play or not.  I would much rather see that than having Henson buried on the bench and Tobias getting ten minutes a game. 
      What does all this get you? Two or three extra first rounders, a higher lottery pick due to “tanking” and an opportunity to let your younger players develop by getting meaningful minutes in NBA games. In today’s NBA, this can be repeated over and over since teams are constantly signing guys to bad contracts and then trying to unload them with draft picks as sweeteners. 
      If you keep your cap flexible, and acquire as many draft picks as possible, when you finally do hit on that star player, you can sign all the Ersans you want to make your team a contender and keep your star happy.

  7. PattiRafalskiDavison

    Already we are talking about tanking?  They just published the schedule!  I, for one, would like to see these guys play a couple games first.

    • I don’t want to see them tank (at least not in the traditional sense), but I would much rather watch John Henson get 30 minutes a night than those same minutes go to Drew Gooden. I would rather see if Tobias Harris can compete against more than just summer league cast offs than watch Dunleavy and Moute take turns at the small forward position. I would rather have Lamb play combo guard and back up Jennings and Ellis instead of the steady but oh so boring Beno Udrich.  If that costs the Bucks some wins this year, then so be it. Don’t think of it as tanking. Think of it as losing with a purpose.

      • Absolutely agree with letting Harris and Henson play ahead of Dunleavy/Gooden, but Beno is relatively young and i think much better than he played last year.  Plus he and Lamb can play pg or sg so they both should see the floor quite a bit.

  8. Wow.. when did I go over 100 points? Pretty much means I yap too much.. I guess that’s Lawlor’s Law
    Does anyone find the groupings of words “seriously courted” and “Joel Przybilla” at all alarming in the Journal Times article? He should be courting us

  9. Right on about ersan. $5 mil MAX. Courting Pryzbiila??? Hey, why not Darko Milicic? God this team has more white stiffs than a mormon cemetery.B-O-R-I-N-G

    •  @flyingking 
      Ryan Anderson and Jeff Green each got  $8 million per year this offseason just like Ersan, so it appears that’s the going rate on above-average stretch 4’s. Besides, I’d take Ersan over a guy who hasn’t proven he’s any good without Dwight and disappears in the playoffs and another guy who suddenly can’t stay on the court and hasn’t done anything since leaving OKC.
      And the last year on Ersan’s deal is a team option, so it’s really more like four years for $32 million unless he’s ballin’ so hard that we just can’t let him go. When you think of it like that, it’s really not as bad of an investment as it initially sounds.

  10. I personally am okay with mediocrity in the sense of the Hawks, Pacers, Sixers, etc. At least they have something…NBA is probably going to end up contracting with all these “superfriend” teams in the next decade. I would rather see the Bucks still be a franchise and be mediocre than see them blow it up and be gone b4 they get a chance to really rebuild. Right now the Bucks are probably one of the most likely teams to be gone if contraction were to occur

    •  @Teddddd Only two things are saving the Bucks right now: Herb Kohl and David Stern’s absolute refusal to contract any team

  11. 50+ posts tells me that there are plenty of Bucks fans here that want this team to succeed, but they just have different ideas on how we will go about doing it.. Passion fuels arguments and sometimes can get snippy..