The Milwaukee Bucks agreed to a three-year deal with Ersan Ilyasova as soon as free agency begins. How does the staff feel about this signing?
The Milwaukee Bucks signed forward/center Ersan Ilyasova to a three-year, $21 million deal almost as soon as free agency began on July 1. It’s a move that’s been highly questioned among those around the NBA. What do a few members of the Dairyland Express staff think of the deal?
1. The Bucks struck a deal with Ersan Ilyasova at midnight, why’d they target him so soon?
Chris Young (@chrisyoungj): Who the heck knows why the Bucks struck a deal with Ersan Ilyasova so soon into free agency. There’s no doubt he would have been a desirable player to pick up, particularly after he and Marco Belinelli teamed up to great effect in Philadelphia late in the 2017-18, but whether a deal needed to be struck at midnight, I’m not so sure.
By no means is Ilyasova a bad player to add, if anything the Bucks had need of a three-point shooting big man. Every sentence I’ve read thus far about his signing, however, contains a big but. Milwaukee has a great core already, it’s the bad contracts on the periphery that are killing their flexibility at the moment compared to the likes of Boston and Philadelphia. I worry that general manager Jon Horst and the rest of the front office might have overvalued Ilyasova – but on the plus side, they didn’t offer a similar contract to Doug McDermott so every cloud has a silver lining.
Mike Wendlandt (@MikeWendlandt): Jon Horst has been nothing if not determined to get the guys he wants as soon as possible. He has publically stated that Donte DiVincenzo was his only choice in the draft and now he makes a deal with Ilyasova. As good as I can gather, I think the Bucks wanted to get a shooter who provides the grit needed to anchor that second unit and Ilyasova is probably the best of those players.
The backcourt is set in the second unit with Matthew Delladova, DiVincenzo, Sterling Brown and Brandon Jennings. But the forward position is startlingly thin on the bench beside Tony Snell and Jabari Parker (if he is brought back). Ilyasova will immediately step into that role and be the role player that the team hoped that Mirza Teletovic would’ve been.
Gage Bridgford (@GBridgfordNFL): Ilyasova gives the Bucks insurance in more ways than one. If they choose to bring back Jabari Parker, he gives the team depth at the position. Considering Parker’s injury history, this is an important factor for them to consider. Parker has only played more than 70 games once in four seasons.
With limited cap space, it’s possible that Parker gets priced out of their range quickly. The team lacked stretchability in the frontcourt last season, and Ilyasova gives them that. Stretch bigs are a premium in the modern NBA. While he doesn’t have the knockdown ability of Anthony Tolliver or Kevin Love, he still sports a career 36.6 percentage from distance.