Bucks Send Ersan Ilyasova to Pistons in Trade
The Milwaukee Bucks know Jabari Parker is the future, which is why they made sure to make room for him in 2015-16. To do so, Milwaukee moved fellow forward Ersan Ilyasova in a trade with the Detroit Pistons on Thursday afternoon.
The deal sent Ilyasova packing, while the Bucks received swing man Caron Butler and versatile big man Shawne Williams in return.
The big question surrounding this trade isn’t necessarily how the new pieces will fit in the respective systems, but why the deal was done in the first place. On the surface, it looks like a preemptive move that will only lead to more moves from both sides.
Ilyasova was a versatile, productive big for the Bucks two years ago, but really struggled with injuries and inconsistency last season. Parker made him expendable and with last year’s rookie sensation returning from a torn ACL, shipping Ilyasova off gives him one less thing to worry about.
Detroit probably pulled this trade off to brace themselves for the departure of power forward, Greg Monroe. Moose enters restricted free agency this summer and could very easily be on his way out. If the Pistons decide to match whatever deal he gets, then Ilyasova serves as a very solid depth piece off the bench. If Monroe jets in free agency, then Ilyasova is a decent option to rotate as a starter.
Milwaukee could look to tighten their rotation and ask players like Khris Middleton (if they retain him in restricted free agency) and Parker to take on bigger roles in the offense. Getting rid of Ilyasova opens the door to do just that at the very least, although it could hurt their depth. Of course, by adding Butler (a hometown hero) and Williams, Milwaukee arguably actually improves their depth, as both of their new additions can provide instant offense off the bench.
Neither team turns into a title contender with this move, but it’s clear both are preparing for next season via different paths. Milwaukee is clearing a path for some of it’s young players to take on more responsibility, while the Pistons are preparing to lose one of their best players. Detroit is the short-term winner in this trade, but if unloading Ilyasova helps Milwaukee uncover the potential from some of their younger talents, it’s a move well worth making.
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