2. What grade do you give the deal between the Bucks and Ilyasova?
Chris Young: It’s a B from me. Ilyasova is a good fit for the Bucks, has a relationship with new head coach Mike Budenholzer that might help make the transition smoother and his individual skill set fills a need for the Bucks. Heck, if you want to get crazy he might be able to mentor DJ Wilson and turn him into…something.
It’s an overpay though – a big one. Seven million a year is too much for a veteran who, depending on what happens with Jabari Parker, won’t soak up a massive amount of minutes. Multiple years on the deal is fine, but I’d have preferred for it to be closer to the veteran’s minimum (I’m not a salary cap wonk though, so I’m unsure if that’s an option).
I would have been surprised if Ilyasova was not available on day two of free agency – it would have been preferable for the front office to have waited an assessed their options. DeMarcus Cousins signing in Golden State is not the reason I hold this opinion – Seth Curry‘s bargain deal springs to mind – but I mean, why not bring Michael Beasley back if this is the direction you wanted to go in?
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Mike Wendlandt: I give it a solid “B” grade. It’s not a deal that will move the needle, but it’s a great fit for the team and Ilyasova will quickly endear himself to his teammates with his play. A guy who the fanbase quickly missed once he was gone after his first stint with the Bucks, Ilyasova has been a successful player for each team he’s played for and has shown no signs of slowing down.
He’s still fairly young for a veteran of his stature and will bring a lot of the little things to a team that needs that presence, especially on defense. Kudos to Jon Horst as well for the structure of the deal as well. It’s essentially a two year deal with an option so it won’t handcuff the team like the Henson and Dellavedova contracts have.
Gage Bridgford: Compared to the contract the Minnesota Timberwolves gave to Anthony Tolliver, the Ilyasova deal could look better. Ilyasova is a worse shooter, while also being worse on defense. The Bucks were one of few teams to sign role players to more than one-year deals, which is surprising. Most teams were making an effort to keep cap space open for 2019.
While there may have been better and cheaper options available, Ilyasova still represents an upgrade over their previous players at the position. Ilyasova would have been a top-10 three-point shooter on last years team. Giannis Antetokounmpo needs more shooting around him and Ilyasova brings that. If I had to put a letter grade on the signing, I’d give it a C+ or B- if Ilyasova overperforms.