3. How does Ilyasova fit on this team and what does he bring?
Chris Young: Long story short, it’s a good fit. As I mentioned earlier, Ilyasova is familiar with Milwaukee, he’s familiar with the head coach, and he brings a couple of good things on the court that the Bucks need.
Positional versatility from the bench is arguably his biggest asset – not only does he work well next to Antetokounmpo, he could potentially fit well next to Thon Maker if the Austrcentercentre can find some consistency. He’s renowned for taking charges, but not necessarily for playing defense. He’s shot the three ball at an exceptional clip for the entirety of his career. From a basketball sense, it’s far from the worst thing the Bucks could have done in free agency.
Mike Wendlandt: Ilyasova will bring a combination of skills to the second unit and he can start against the bigger, more physical teams in the league. His play is, using recent Bucks players, a combination of Teletovic’s shooting and the physicality and peskiness of Dellavedova. An extreme pest on the defensive end who will crash for rebounds and play tougher than his frame, Ilyasova will quickly take the role of leader on the defensive end.
Offensively, he’ll be a roaming threat on the perimeter, capable of going for 20-plus points or being a decoy to allow the slashers to get to the basket. He’s the prototypical stretch-four for a bench unit and is a selfless, team-oriented guy. He’ll also quickly become a fan favorite, just like he was during his first stint. It’s a great fit and his role was badly needed on this team.
Gage Bridgford: Ilyasova fits on this team as a modern power forward. As he’s gotten older, his athleticism has waned. However, his shooting has gotten better as the NBA has put an increased value on three-point shooting. He gives the team additional lineup flexibility. When Antetokounmpo is the lone starter with four bench players, Ilyasova will give additional spacing to give more room to stretch the floor.
He brings an experienced veteran presence. He can give guidance to younger players, such as Thon Maker, who has struggled to become the stretch big they had hoped. He also brings a toughness that the team can always use more of. He is always willing to take a charge if necessary.