NY Post: Bucks, Cavs, Raptors, and Spurs chasing Ilyasova?
For a 25-year-old coming off a career-year, Ersan Ilyasova seems to be having a relatively quiet start to free agency, right? But while Ersan was not among the players nabbing big deals in the first 48 hours of the free agent frenzy, he's not without his suitors. The New York Post's Fred Kerber tweets that Toronto, Cleveland, San Antonio and the Bucks all have registered their interest in Milwaukee's favorite Turk, though it's not clear if any real offers are imminent. The Spurs don't have more than the mid-level exception to offer ($5m), while the Cavs and Raps don't have major needs at power forward and likely view Ersan as more of a backup plan in case they can't spend their cap space elsewhere (after all, you can't just NOT spend your money right? Um, yeah). In other words, they might still get silly and offer something close to the $10 million annually that Ersan is hoping for, but there's a chance Ilyasova's offers fall well short of that. Let's hope for the latter.
Other NBA teams might still jump into the fray of course, and we haven't heard anything about Ersan entertaining European offers quite yet, but that'll probably happen if he's not impressed with his NBA offers. Factoring in exchange rates and taxes, Ersan can probably make the equivalent of $7-8 million pretax in Europe, so I have to think his NBA floor will be well above the mid-level. Sign-and-trades could also be possible, and would allow the Bucks to capture at least some value for Ersan while bringing more suitors into play. That'd be especially relevant if Ersan decides he doesn't want his long-term future in Wisconsin, which may or may not be the case. For instance, the Spurs could try to construct something around the modest deals of DeJuan Blair, Matt Bonner, Gary Forbes and Tiago Splitter (OK, the latter might be wishful thinking). Should be interesting to watch.
More news and notes after the jump.
Meanwhile, the Nets would seem to be out of the running for Ersan after agreeing to swallow Joe Johnson'smonstrous contract and ponying up four years, $40 million for Gerald Wallace. They're hoping Deron Williams andDwight Howard are next, with published reports this morning suggesting that the teams are zeroing in on a deal that would send Brook Lopez, MarShon Brooks, Kris Humphries and picks to Disney World. The issue is that both Lopez (RFA) and Humphries are free agents, meaning they'd first have to agree on contracts with the Magic as part of sign-and-trades. Hedo Turkoglu would also figure to be headed to New Jersey so that the Magic could at least rid themselves of another bad contract.
Bucks.com: Sam Dalembert, John Henson and Doron Lamb Meet Milwaukee
Missed the pressers? Bucks.com has them archived for your view pleasure below.
- Samuel Dalembert press conference. Shockingly, Scott Skiles expects Dalembert to be his opening night starter. If you're not interested in spending 17 minutes watching the video, the JSand FS Wisconsin have recaps.
- John Henson & Doron Lamb press conference. Henson's favorite workout city was Milwaukee, and he knows that sounds weird. Midway through the rookies' presser, John Hammond acknowledged a "friend" of his standing in the back that he wanted to thank. Someone from Hammond's early days growing up in Illinois? A key member of his staff? Nope. It was Brandon Jennings, in town having plenty of fun with Summerfest promotional work. Love the clip of Brandon dancing with 69-year-old Jerry from Seniorgee.
Woelfel: Kirk Hinrich an option for Bucks?
Gery Woelfel threw out the possibility of a Scott Skiles/Kirk Hinrich reunion on Monday, the first we've heard of a possible Bucks' move for the former Bulls, Hawks and Wizards guard. Before you start imagining Hinrich in green and red, consider that Hinrich has already been offered something by the Bulls, with the Jazz, Lakers, and Grizzlies also mentioned as interested parties. In other words, I'm not holding my breath. While Hinrich has seriously declined since his days as a starter for Skiles in Chicago, you can see why he would still have some appeal on the cheap: he's made threes for a long time, is a responsible defender and can play both guard spots. And we all know the Bucks like their combo guards.
Imig: Finding a backup center critical for Bucks
The Bucks came to regret not signing proven backup big men to Andrew Bogut the past two seasons, but don't expect them to necessarily add another center to complement the newly-acquired Dalembert.
"Most of that stuff is game-dependent," Skiles said. "There's so many teams that play small now. You'd like to always have somebody in there who can protect the rim for you, and with Ekpe, and obviously Sam can, but he might not be the guy out there when the other team is really small.
"Maybe it's somebody else, who knows. With Larry and Ekpe and John (Henson) and Sam, we have four high-level NBA shot blockers; play a couple of those guys together for stretches, no question about that. It's just kind of game-dependent."
While Udoh and Sanders lack ideal strength for the center position, both players have shown they can contribute minutes in the pivot on most nights--and Dalembert has proven infinitely more durable than Bogut. The Bucks also need to figure out what they have in the pair, which is why I'm on board with rolling with the current big man rotation if need be.
Bucks.com: Block Busters
Even if you didn't love the Henson pick, you have to admit that having four premier shot-blockers on the roster is pretty damn cool. But will it translate to a defensive turnaround? Alex takes look.
NBA Draft Grades
John Henson clocks in at #5 in Tom Ziller's green room fashion rankings.
John Henson, you are officially the Muppet Baby.
Pretty good year for Kentucky hoops, eh?