Horrifying Ersan Ilyasova rumor should make all Bucks fans sad to be Bucks fans

Ilyasova will likely continue to battle for rebounds in a Bucks jersey this season. And possibly forever. (Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images)
Ilyasova will likely continue to battle for rebounds in a Bucks jersey this season. And possibly forever. (Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images)

This has been a fairly quiet trade deadline. It’s possible (likely) that there’s very little interest in players who play for the NBA-worst Milwaukee Bucks. Veterans like Gary Neal and Luke Ridnour sound like they are drawing some interest, but they aren’t really needle movers in the league. They’ll be had for a price that is small.

Of greater interest league wide could be roller coaster forward Ersan Ilyasova who has expressed some dissatisfaction with the team’s poor play and his ever changing role on the team.

But if BasketballInsiders.com’s Alex Kennedy is to be believed, Ilyasova will be staying put in Milwaukee. Not necessarily because basketball people within the organization think he should be apart of the rebuilding project taking place, but because the Bucks owner has a soft spot for him:

Milwaukee’s asking price on Ilyasova has been incredibly high, and sources say it’s because owner Herb Kohl is a huge fan of Ilyasova and believes that he can be a star player in the NBA.

Rumors are rumors, so obviously we don’t know this to be totally accurate. This does have the slight whiff of an agent desperately trying to get his client out of a situation he’s unhappy in. But I’ll give Alex Kennedy some credit, because he has a fairly solid history of reporting and Kohl has a reputation of ruining basketball in the city of Milwaukee.

Ilyasova theoretically has hurt his value this season with one poor performance after the next and an absence of his typical post January improvements. But he has enough of a history as a shooter and passable to good rebounder that it’s hard to believe he has no value elsewhere. He certainly has next to no value on the Bucks, because he’s ideally a role player and will never be a crucially important part of a highly successful basketball team. On the right team though, he could use his strengths as a shooter and charge taker to swing quarters and fill minutes until very good players take over.

So surely there is some team willing to give up something of some value for him, especially with an apparent lack of prime players available to be had via trade as this deadline approaches.

But it sounds like Ilyasova will stay in Milwaukee, thanks to the delusions of the owner of his team. He’ll remain unhappy, he’ll still cut into the playing time of younger players and he’ll keep doing nothing to move the needle either way for a team that will never head anywhere so long as the owner continues to muck up the basketball operations.

Attention rich people worldwide who can deal with the city of Milwaukee: THE BAR TO OWN A TEAM HERE IS PRETTY LOW. All you have to do is not move them and stay away. Do those things and you’ll be hailed as a hero.

The current owner just makes everyone sad.

Categories: Trade Rumors

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  1. The fact that Kohl has any say over basketball matters is exactly why the Bucks franchise is one of the worst in all of professional sports. The Bucks organization will NEVER, absolutely never, be a successful franchise as long as Kohl and his cronies (Walter, Steinmiller, McKinney,Babock) are around. The only way out of this 25 year debacle is for a new owner to come in and clean house.

  2. First off, Herb Kohl is welcome to openly address this report, and in general to explain clearly what his role is in the basketball operations of the team. It’d be good to hear from John Hammond and Larry Drew, as well. This really needs to be explained.
    Secondly, the extent to which this report is true is the extent to which I’m truly scared about the future of the Bucks. Unless I’m missing something, it seems that Mr. Kohl is likely to truly undermine any progress the Bucks make for as long as he is meddling. That is just so depressing.
    Thanks, Jeremy, for addressing this matter, which is easily the most important report and biggest concern to come out of the trade deadline. It seems to go right to the heart of your concern about the “process” of building and running a team — which I think is right on the mark. Please keep following this story, any clues to what’s going on from the top down in the organization, including perhaps talking to former personnel in the front office.
    To me, this is the key to the whole future of the Bucks, from success on the court to whether the team stays in Milwaukee.

  3. I take that report with a grain of salt.

    I think the bigger problem is that Ersan has played so poorly this year. Then try to swallow his contract. 8-9 million a year with two more years left- on a player having a career worst year?

    I think that’s why Ersan is still a Buck. Not neccessarly a unrequited love affair with the owner.

  4. Even if it’s not true, we already know Kohl is in the terrible sports owner Hall of Fame with men like Abe Pollin, William Clay Ford, and Daniel Snyder. I applaud Kohl’s efforts to keep the team in Milwaukee but for the love of God, please extricate yourself from the day-to-day.

    • Herb Kohl reminds me of Al Davis without the early glory. Raiders fans used to say, “We’re waiting for him to pass..” While I am not that harsh, this year has been the final epiphany for me…This man has has no idea.

      While this article/rumor is horrifying, another thing that absolutely drove me to drink as this:


      This one absolutely infuriated me. I know around trade deadline almost everyone is fair game for the right price, but Henson and Antekounmpo should be absolutely hands off. It shouldn’t even been talked about. Those 2 guys (maybe even Larry) are the future. I’ll bet $10 that Hammond had nothing to do with that and everything to do with Kohl if this was true. It’s like you cant trust him.