So much of this seems wrong to me and shows how skewered the NBA free agent market is. Ilyasova is a twenty year old forward who showed last season that he clearly belonged in the league. His PER was 12.10 for the year, plenty respectable for someone with so much youth and inexperience. Every time the Celtics played the Bucks, Gorman and Heinson would say how they liked the kid. And that is what he was - a kid, with good touch from the outside and the ability to scrap. It seemed obvious that he could drastically improve. Then an article comes out before the draft saying that Ilyasova looks better than any of the lottery prospects the Bucks are bringing in. He had gained thirty pounds and seemed ready to make the leap.
And you can't offer that guy a contract for $3 million a year? That's less money than Jeff Green will make next year, it's basically still a rookie contract for a lottery level player. There is no reason not to take Ilyasova on face value when he said he wanted to stay in the NBA. It just became clear that nobody would give him a better offer than Barcelona.
So shame on a lot of teams. You're telling me the Celtics couldn't find some time for him at small forward next year? Someone with considerable upside? It's very strange. It is particularly ominous for the Bucks - on the same day we learn of Ilyasova's departure, we learn of Desmond Mason's return. Mason had a PER of 10.90 last year and has no upside. He also will cost probably twice as much as Ilyasova. And Mason once publicly called Bucks GM Larry Harris "a snake in the grass." So, yeah, good going Milwaukee. Between this, the Yi thing, and Bogut's comments the Bucks are the talk of the league. But no one is talking about Ersan, and they might never again. Makes you wonder if it's worth scouting these international guys.