It has been reported that almost every team in the NBA has contacted the Milwaukee Bucks about the possibility of trading forward Ersan Ilyasova. As of right now, the Bucks have no intentions of doing such a thing because Ilyasova is projected to play a big role in the starting lineup. With that being said, will Milwaukee use Ilyasova as trade bait during the season, particularly close to the trade deadline, if other big men emerge on the team?
Ilyasova is a legitimate scorer who is also a beast on the boards. Not to mention, he converted 44.4 percent of his 2.9 3-point field goal attempts per game in 2012-13, which is unbelievable for someone with his style of play. There is no question he is the most offensively gifted big man the Bucks have on their roster, which is a big reason why the organization should keep him.
The 26-year-old is also an asset on defense. He averaged 5.0 defensive rebounds per game and can take a charge like nobody’s business. He may not block as many shots as some of his teammates, but he is capable of creating turnovers.
With all of that being said, the emergence of John Henson and Larry Sanders would completely change the game. Sanders is already on the right track of becoming one of the most dominant defensive players in the league. If his offensive game could ever catch up, he would be a big threat on the court. Meanwhile, Henson is the difference maker. If the second-year player can improve immensely this season then the Bucks would feel comfortable parting ways with Ilyasova. Of course, a deal only happens for the right price.
It is unfortunate to think about Ilyasova this way heading into the season. However, it is certainly a good situation for Milwaukee to be in, especially if the young frontcourt develops throughout the year.