The Milwaukee Bucks have a problem. What do you do with a player known for second-half production when he doesn’t deliver? What do you do with a player known as a stretch power forward when he is unable to consistently shoot? What do the Bucks’ do with Ersan Ilyasova?
To say that Ilyasova has regressed this year is an understatement. Not only have his PPG and RPG dipped from 13.2 and 7.1 to 11.2 and 6.2 respectively, but his blocks, steals and assists have all decreased. For the past three seasons, Ilyasova has come on the second half of the season, and it didn’t happen this year. The Bucks do not score a lot of points, and it doesn’t help that Ersan’s field goal percentage has dropped from the high 40s to just 40 percent this season. Worse, he is shooting only 28 percent from beyond the arc.
There are two ways this plays out. One is to trade Ilyasova, and that won’t be easy. He is owed $8 million over the next three years. Remember when Brooklyn Nets were interested? That was a long time ago. To find interest, the Bucks will have to package a draft pick or youth along with Ilyasova.
The second option is to ride it out and hope he finds his magic. It’s possible all of his offseason commitments (Turkey basketball) have caught up to him and he is exhausted. Maybe a summer off from basketball is all he needs. Maybe he will work on the 3-point shot. He needs this to keep his “stretch forward” club membership in good standing.
David is a NBA writer for Rant Sports. Follow David S. Grant on Twitter @david_s_grant