According to a report, the Milwaukee Bucks—who have been mostly silent since their ownership change last month, may be getting ready to make some deals.
Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times reported that power forward Ersan Ilyasova is the most likely to be dealt, but that there have also been discussions about moving young big man John Henson and point guard Brandon Knight.
Ilyasova had a terrible season in 2013-14, missing 27 games with a variety of ankle problems and shooting a career-worst 28.2 percent from 3-point range. Ilyasova, 27, is a career 36.6 percent shooter from deep and in 2011-12 and 2012-13 put up marks of 45.5 percent and 44.4 percent, respectively.
The Houston Rockets have long been rumored to have interest in Ilyasova, who has a very cap-friendly deal that owes him $7.9 million in each of the next two seasons, with a team option for $8.4 million in 2016-17.
Woelfel cites “Bucks insiders” who are saying that new owners Marc Lasry and Wes Edens have given the green light to a potential trade of Knight, who was Milwaukee’s best player last season.
Knight, who came over from the Detroit Pistons last summer in the Brandon Jennings sign-and-trade, posted career highs of 17.9 points, 4.9 assists, 3.5 rebounds and one steal per game, playing 33.3 minutes. He shot .422/.325/.802.
Henson, meanwhile, was the Bucks’ first-round pick in 2012, and he averaged 11.1 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in 26.5 minutes per game—more than double his playing time as a rookie—while filling in for the oft-missing Larry Sanders in the middle last season.
Henson also shot an efficient 53.8 percent from the floor but hit just 51.4 percent of his free throws.
The x-factor in all of this is Sanders, who is entering the first year of a four-year, $44 million contract extension.
With some combination of llyasova, Knight and/or Henson included in a deal, the Bucks might find some other team willing to take Sanders and his boatload of problems to a new city.
I’ve been wondering if/when the Bucks were going to begin to make some moves and the notion of trading Knight while his value might be at its highest is a solid one.
Was Knight a good player? Yes. But he would never be the first option for a good NBA team and he’s not really a piece that a team should want to rebuild around.
If the Bucks can move Knight along with Ilyasova or Henson and find a taker for Sanders in order to pick up more picks in the first round, that would be a deal worth entertaining.