The Milwaukee Bucks have overpaid to keep their players before -- John Salmons, Charlie Bell and Dan Gadzuric come to mind as a cautionary tales -- but what should they do when Ersan Ilyasova hits the open market at the end of the 2012 NBA season? In fact, what would it even mean to overpay the 24-year old power forward? One thing is clear at this point: Ersan is headed to the highest bidder.
Ilyasova spoke with Stephen Brotherston of HoopsWorld back in February about how he plans to attack unrestricted free agency, and the Bucks certainly won't be getting a discount:
"When I look at it I have to remember that it's a business," said Ilyasova. "Some teams overseas wanted to buyout my contract but I wanted to finish this season in the NBA. This is where I want to be right now, but we will see what happens in the future. Financially, whoever pays me more will be the team that I decide to sign with."
To compete with the currency exchange rates and tax breaks European teams can offer Ersanity, the Bucks would likely have to offer something in excess of the five-year, $32M mid-level exception deal Drew Gooden signed in 2010. Steve von Horn and Frank Madden discuss the merits of re-signing Ersan Ilyasova below. For smartphone users, click here to Listen to this episode.
Here is how the episode breaks down: conversation flows from Ersan's intentions, to his value, to the limits in his game, and finally wraps up with talk about how he would fit in with expensive role players like Drew Gooden and Luc Mbah a Moute.
What if the Bucks make another surge against a soft schedule heading into the 2012 NBA Playoffs? Will the goodwill from that experience cause John Hammond to hand out another overpriced deal like he did to John Salmons? The difference here is that Ersan is much younger than Johnny Fishsticks, but the important similarity is that Milwaukee still can't afford to overpay role players. Ersan is either the starting PF of the future, or he isn't. The issue is whether he can create any surplus value by playing above his pay grade in a new deal. Here's what we think about the whole situation. As always, tell us what you think in the comments.