BUCKS FREE AGENCY REPORT: Bucks Sign Ersan Ilyasova To 3 Years/$21 Million


What's the FREE AGENT SIGNING tiger?

The Milwaukee Bucks have officially resigned former Buck PF Ersan Ilyasova to a three year deal for 21 million dollars.  Ersan was originally drafted by the Bucks in 2006 and played for 7 seasons in Milwaukee.  The signing is intriguing especially because Ersan's family still lives in Milwaukee so there was clearly plenty of appeal for him to reunite with the Bucks.  On top of that the Bucks fan base will gladly welcome him back as he was some what of a cult hero in Milwaukee during his first stint.  Ersan has actually remained very productive still late in his career and has definitely seen a sudden spike in his value since he performed really well last season with the 76ers and showed a new dimension of versatility in his game lining up as a small ball center when Joel Embiid was injured.  Enough of the back story, lets get to the details of the contract!  Here we go!




It appeared that there were multiple teams interested in Ersan Ilyasova including his current team the Philadelphia 76ers.  Because Ersan showed much new value as a stretch 5 last season with Philly, as well as already fitting the mold as a stretch 4, it's not a surprise that he had a lot of interest from a lot of teams all over the league this off season.  Versatility and a unique skill set is extremely valuable to NBA teams in the modern day NBA and Ersan's value has actually increased ironically after 14 years in the league because he posses these traits.

It turns out though that most likely Milwaukee was Ersan's top landing destination since reuniting back with the Bucks means he's close to his family again and also gets to be apart of the new arena year.  On top of that, I think GM John Horst and the Bucks were heavily targeting Ersan as his fit with the team actually makes a lot of sense.  As I said earlier, Ersan's versatility and unique skill set is really valuable right now to NBA teams and in this case probably even more valuable to the Bucks since they desperately need depth at the C and PF positions.  Ersan is a scrappy defender and still a solid shooter who can lineup in multiple positions now and can legitimately perform as a starter as well so I'm not surprised the Bucks wanted him back so bad.  Who cares that he looks like ape, Ersan can still ball!



free agent signing BENEFITS

  • Ersan is still a productive player even after 14 seasons in the NBA!
  • The Milwaukee fan base really likes Ilyasova and he will fit back in really well in the Bucks locker room.
  • Giannis can use all the 3 and D guys the Bucks can get and Ersan is a legitimate floor spacing 5 now.
  • Ersan's new re-defined versatility fits in so well with what this current Bucks squad needs.
  • Ersan has great intangibles and the Bucks roster will benefit greatly from his leadership and hustle on the court just as much as his actually performance on the court.
  • The need to acquire more depth at the 4 and 5 positions was crucial this off season and filling this need with one roster addition cannot be overlooked.

free agent signing DRAWBACKS

  • Regardless of how well Ersan fits with the Bucks he definitely is not a game changer.
  • While Ersan is a very consistent player and can have a big game here in there it would have been nice to see the Bucks use their MLE money to acquire a player with a bit more upside.
  • This deal isn't a huge over pay but Ersan definitely got over paid by the Bucks (good for him!).
  • The Bucks need to stop digging themselves salary cap space holes and even though this deal doesn't create a big financial hole the Bucks have too much money invested in average players (or slightly above average players at best) and while Ersan will certainly help make the Bucks better most likely for at least the first two guaranteed money years, acquiring as many high upside players should still be a higher priority for the Bucks if they seriously want to give themselves a chance at winning a championship over the next few years as the super teams just keep getting more...super (fuck you Golden State Warriors!)!!!!








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I project that Ersan could have a really big shooting year (really the whole roster most likely will too!) as he'll have catch and shoot opportunities behind the arc playing with Giannis again.  If coach Bud seriously gives Ersan decent minute opportunities at at center in small ball lineups Ersan could have a really big year and maybe become a 40% three point shooter again with all the open looks he should get this season?  Ersan should thrive as well on defense as the coaching staff and the players will most likely praise him for his hustle, grit, and tenacity.  You cannot ignore his solid rebounding skills as well since the Bucks are the worse rebounding team in the league.  Don't be surprised if Ersan averages upwards 30 minutes this season as a Buck since we'll need him playing at the 4 and the 5 heavily now that Jabari gone.




When this deal first went down I wasn't jacked about it but I wasn't upset either.  Overall, I'm pretty pleased with bringing Ersan back to deer land after fully dissecting the deal because he fits so well with the roster right now and the fan base already loves him.  If this deal was $21M guaranteed for 3 years I'd be pissed though.  The Bucks have a lot of salary coming off the books in two years and it's really important that it does because the Bucks are going to have to sign another superstar in free agency at some point here if they are going to be able to keep up with the top teams in the league right now.  The draft is not going to help the Bucks much over the next couple of seasons here since we're likely drafting in the 20-30 pick range going forward since we're probably a safe lock to make the playoffs yearly going forward for a while now.  Two years of Ersan guaranteed definitely makes the Bucks better and most likely will not hurt them.  This isn't an amazing signing but overall it actually make a lot sense and I'm fairly pleased with it!