The Milwaukee Bucks‘ season is essentially over. Their focus is now on trades and tanking for the draft. The latter is covered — no assistance needed there. The question is how many of their current players should be traded or dumped at the deadline? Ersan Ilyasova is one of the better players, but he’s also most expendable given he is what passes for a veteran on this young team looking to the future.
Ilyasova is not just a luxury the Bucks don’t need, but he is also underperforming. A noted slow starter, he has yet to pick it up in the second half as he has in past years. Oh, and Ilyasova is unhappy. He has stressed frustrations with the current lineup and lack of pick-and-roll sets. He is only 26-years-old and in the middle of a five-year, $40 million contract, but he’s also in the midst of a rebuilding project that really started mid-season. No one can blame Ilyasova for wanting out of the current Milwaukee situation, and no one can blame the Bucks for wanting out of that contract.
So how do you trade one of your better players in their prime when their numbers are down? This year Ilyasova is shooting only 37 percent from the field and a pitiful 28 percent from downtown. The Bucks will need to take what they can get, and that may be second-round draft picks or a rookie who hasn’t panned out with his current team.
Bottom line: The Bucks are already rebuilding and Ilyasova is not part of the future. Any potential Ilyasova trade that brings back youth and potential should be seriously considered.
David is a NBA writer for Rant Sports. Follow David S. Grant on Twitter @david_s_grant.