Bucks deal Ersan Ilyasova to Detroit

It finally happened.

The Milwaukee Bucks traded forward Ersan Ilyasova to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for forwards Caron Butler and Shawne Williams Thursday afternoon. The deal looks to be a salary dump by Milwaukee, which has sometimes quietly and sometimes not-so-quietly been shopping the inconsistent Ilyasova for the better part of the last three seasons. Ilyasova is owed $7.9 million in 2015-16, and his contract includes an $8.4 million team option for 2016-17.

In Butler, a Racine, Wis. native who spent half of the 2013-14 season in Milwaukee, and Williams, the Bucks bring in two players on non-guaranteed contracts next season, who are almost certain to be waived. Butler is owed $4.5 million, while Williams is slated to make roughly $1.4 million. Waiving both players would open up north of $5.8 million, in addition to the nearly $8 million freed up by trading Ilyasova.

While Ilyasova was one of Milwaukee’s most consistent performers over second half of the season after the Brandon Knight trade shook up the roster, he’s long been a wildly inconsistent shooter and battled a number of injuries. With Jabari Parker coming back next season and minimal roster turnover expected, the move essentially paves the way for Parker (or potentially Giannis Antetokounmpo, they can probably flip back and forth to a degree) to take over as the starting power forward.

It also clears cap space – Milwaukee is projected to have around $22 million to play with – that will presumably be used to re-sign restricted free agent, Khris Middleton, who is due for a hefty pay raise after averaging 13.4 points and shooting nearly 47% from the field and 41% from beyond the arc. Middleton figures to draw considerable interest around the league, but the Bucks have made clear that they intend to match any offer. Essentially, Thursday’s deal ensures that Milwaukee will have the room to do just that.

Ilyasova, a second-round pick of the Bucks in 2005, will move on to Detroit after seven seasons with Milwaukee. He holds career averages of 10.7 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.1 assists while shooting 44.7% from the field and 37% from three. In 2014-15, Ilyasova, the unofficial franchise leader in charges drawn, averaged 11.5 points and 4.8 rebounds in 58 games (36 starts).

Categories: The Off Season,Trade Rumors

Tags: ,


  1. Day Late and a Dollar Short

    Who gave Ilyasova $8MM/yr which now needs to be dumped early?… Hammond.
    Hammond not good enough to do this last yr trade deadline and get asset back. When K.Love or D.Montiejunas went down, couldn’t get a future 2nd rd.

    • Well now, be fair: Kohl did that. Check things out since the new owners took over. None of these moves look like those moves.

      Ers was banged-up last year and not playing well in a new system. This is probably pretty close to what they’d have gotten at the deadline, and they had a stacked roster to begin with. They also already have enough future 2nd round picks. Look at this as gaining the ability to keep the young core together. The French guy slides into Ers’ roster spot, Middleton comes back at whatever price he comes back at, management can match anything, and there’s long-term flexibility for Giannis’ extension and maybe those for MCW/Plumlee. This is a solid play.

  2. Great move. Now throw the kitchen sink at either Gasol or Jimmy butler! Realistically Butler will command 2-3 million more than Middleton and is a huge upgrade. Bucks need a quality shooter or an all around starting center. I love money Middleton but anything over 9 for him is madness to me

  3. This is a great trade.
    1. It clears space
    2. It takes back no bad contracts
    3. It clears playing time for Jabari (obviously) and someone like Damien Inglis
    4. It allows the Bucks to draft for value and need at #17 as MOST (not all) of the best value picks there are the Dekker-Looney-Portis type players. And I’d be shocked if they draft anyone outside those 3.
    5. It makes the Bucks younger
    6. Ers had no future

  4. Thank god for small favors.

    We no longer have to endure winter, AND the weeks and months of waiting , hoping and praying for Ersan Ilyasova to play solid to sometimes good basketball for the Milwaukee Bucks.

    Yes, it’s too bad that Ersan is now a Piston. He’ll probably take it out on the Bucks one game in the not to distant future and make 5 outside shots and take 6 charges. Such is life in the NBA.

    But let’s face it – Ersan was/is probably one of the most overpaid player in the NBA. And that’s saying something. When his contract thankfully expires he will settle back down to his rightful place as a 3 or 4 million dollar journeyman (think Jared Dudley) on into the twilight of his career.

    I’m not sure if I will miss Ol’ Ersan. He was ours for 7 years. But I won’t miss the Herb Kohl era contracts (yes you Larry Sanders) .

    Now let’s get out there and spend our 22 million dollars in cap space!!!!!!

  5. Man the only players I wouldn’t mind seeing the Bucks throw so-called crazy money at in FA after knowing they’ll have Middleton back (hoping he simply agrees to terms with the team and grants the Bucks the time to pursue particular top tier FAs) is Jimmy Butler or Kawhi Leonard. I’m just not feeling the need to throw big money at aged/ing or injury prone centers that I’m seeing rumors about (Tyson Chandler and Brook Lopez).

    Still hoping to see the Bucks move Zaza Pachulia for Spencer Hawes, make an offer for RFAs Bismack Biyombo or Kyle O’Quinn (sign UFA Ed Davis if neither of those two are obtained), kick the proverbial tires on someone like Gerald Green or inquire into RFA Will Barton if Jimmy Gets Buckets or Kawhi Leonard prove unattainable, and draft BAP at 17 (hoping that will be Sam Dekker).

    • Like what ur thinking! Jimmy wilful be the bucks best play considering he’ll only command a few million more than Middleton. I’ll say that I love the idea of either chandler or lopez though they’d both provide something we need in the middle.

  6. I would love the Bucks to go after Aldridge, then, to solve the center problem, sign Fab Melo..

  7. As much as I would love to draft either Dekker or FK Pt. 3, If we’re lookin for a big man to snag at the 17th pick I would go with either Myles Turner, Bobby Portis, or Montrezl Harrell.

    I don’t think we really need shooters if we can sign back Khris and get some other rooks to up their shooting %. Otherwise Devon Booker might not be a bad fit if we target a C in free agency this year.