Ersan Ilyasova Returns to Milwaukee
Milwaukee Bucks were not expected to make a move when NBA Free Agency began overnight on Saturday. But the news came across the wire to read that the Milwaukee Bucks inked Ersan Ilyasova to a three-year deal for 21 million dollars. The third year is a team-option making it really a two-year deal for the Bucks. This is a move that stunned a lot of Bucks fans due to the team’s lack of available funds and the need to still sign Jabari Parker. Milwaukee does add some needed depth to their roster and the front line.
The question that I asked a group chat of friends, and I’ll ask the Tappers too – Would you rather have Ersan Ilyasova or Doug McDermott? They both got the same deal overnight. Bucks needed help with their rebounding and defensive toughness. They received those things with Ersan. He grabs rebounds and takes charges like no one’s business. He adds a physicality to the Bucks’ second unit. That was missing from Milwaukee last season. If you look at what this team has done already this offseason, they added three-point shooting and rebounding depth. Isn’t that what we all wanted back in April?
The other thing we cannot discount in this signing is Mike Budenholzer. He was Ilyasova’s coach for 46 games last season before Atlanta bought him out to join Philadelphia. He started nearly all of those 46 games for the rebuilding Hawks team having a productive 10 points and five rebound per game. I’m guessing when the Bucks had a war room about what players they wanted to add to this team, Ilyasova made the list. Remember, Milwaukee tried to signed him in February, and he went to Philadelphia instead. Bucks desired to bring back the Turkish-born player they once drafted 11 years ago.
I’m not ready to rake Jon Horst and Budenholzer over this move until I see what happens the rest of the offseason. We have a long way to go.