The trade deadline has passed and the Milwaukee Bucks‘ season is long over. The focus now turns 100 percent to the future. Where does that leave Milwaukee forward Ersan Ilyasova? The current state of the Bucks leaves Ilyasova on the outside looking in. In fact, this isn’t just a question of whether he is the right player; there are three problems the team faces with Ilyasova.
He has always been a slow season starter, but he has always picked up production come the turn of the new year — except this year. Well into the New Year, Ilyasova continues to shoot around 37 percent from the field and an awful 28 percent from beyond the arc, an area a “stretch four” has to hit from consistently. The second problem is his contract; he is currently in the middle of a five-year, $40 million contract. Despite being only 26, that is a lot of money for a player yet to prove he can play at a high level consistently. The third, and in my opinion, biggest problem is that he may be blocking development of some of the younger players. John Henson continues to show improvement, and the Bucks need to know if he can play next to Larry Sanders. The only way to find out is to give both meaningful minutes, which is hard with Ilyasova also in the frontcourt.
The message and direction is clear for Milwaukee and that is to look to the future. The future does not include Ersan Ilyasova. At this point any deal for Ilyasova that doesn’t impact the future should be considered.
David is a NBA writer for Rant Sports. Follow David S. Grant on Twitter @david_s_grant.