Apr 5, 2014; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Boston Celtics guard Jerryd Bayless (11) dribbles the ball during the second quarter against the Detroit Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Milwaukee Bucks Interested In Jerryd Bayless, Keeping Ersan Ilyasova


The Milwaukee Bucks are reportedly closing in on a deal with free-agent guard Jerryd Bayless, who finished last season with the Boston Celtics.

Marc Stein of ESPN.com is also reporting that, contrary to earlier reports, the Bucks a leaning on keeping power forward Ersan Ilyasova, who struggled through an injury-plagued 2013-14 campaign.

Stein’s report on Ilyasova contradicts an earlier report from Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal-Times:

Bayless played in 72 games with the Memphis Grizzlies and the Celtics last season, starting 19—14 after going to Boston.

The six-year pro was traded Jan. 7 as part of a three-team deal in which the Grizzlies sent Bayless to Boston and got back guard Courtney Lee and a 2016 second-round pick from the Celtics as well as cash from the Oklahoma City Thunder, who shipped Ryan Gomes to Boston.

Bayless averaged 9.3 points, 2.7 assists and two rebounds in 23.4 minutes per game last season, while shooting .402/.358/.797.

But he got more run with Boston, averaging 10.1 points, 3.1 assists, 2.1 rebounds and a steal in 25.3 minutes. His shooting was better with the Celtics, also, as he hit at a .418/.395/.803 clip.

Bayless was the 11th overall pick in the 2008 draft by the Indiana Pacers after playing one year at the University of Arizona.

He was then traded to the Portland Trail Blazers less than two weeks after he was drafted.

He’s also played for the New Orleans Hornets and Toronto Raptors.

Ilyasova, meanwhile, struggled through one of the worst seasons of his career last year. He was limited to 55 games because of a lingering ankle problem and shot .409/.282/.823.

The 28.2 percent mark from 3-point range was down from 45.5 percent and 44.4 percent the previous two seasons. He also averaged 11.2 points and 6.2 rebounds in 26.9 minutes per game.

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Tags: Ersan Ilyasova Jerryd Bayless Milwaukee Bucks NBA Free Agency