Free Agency Update
Following up yesterday's news that the Bucks had offered Ersan Ilyasova a five year deal worth close to $40 million, we heard a bit more on Thursday about Ersan's possible destinations as well as news of who else the Bucks have been looking at (and not looking at) over the summer. To recap:
- Adrian Wojnarowski writes that the Bucks have no interest in a sign-and-trade that would send free agent Kris Humphries to Milwaukee in exchange for Ilyasova (good). Instead, the Nets would try to bring in a third team to take Humphries in exchange for future picks to the Nets and a trade exception for the Bucks. I'm not sure why the Nets would be the ones getting picks out of the deal, but at this point it's all rather hypothetical and vague anyway. A sign-and-trade might be my most favored outcome of the whole Ilyasova situation--though it would be nice to get more than a trade exception.
- Here's some good news for anyone less than thrilled with Ilyasova's five-year, $40 million offer: In an interview on WSSP 1250, Gery Woelfel reports that sources close to Ersan tell him the Turkish forward would prefer not to return to Milwaukee and will go elsewhere if he can find comparable dollars. To that end, Woelfel tweeted yesterday that Ilyasova would visit three teams this week, with one of them being the Cavs. Cleveland has plenty of cap space but a number of big men already on the roster (Tristan Thompson, Tyler Zeller, Anderson Varejao).
- Ilyasova's agent tells Woelfel that the Bucks' offer wasn't enough and that he and his client "are looking for a better offer."
- Turkish hoops writer Can Pelister tweets that Ilyasova will end up with either the Bucks or Nets next year, and that Ilyasova would prefer not to return to Europe next season.
- Fred Kerber of the New York Post writes that Ilyasova's camp has had continued discussions with the Nets. Someone likes Brooklyn, eh?
- Via our man Palomba, Argentine sports site Olé writes that the Bucks are not among the four teams in talks with Carlos Delfino on a new two year deal. Olé lists the Suns as one of the teams, while Mike Wells of the Indy Star mentioned last week that the Pacers had "legitimate interest" in the 30-year-old Delfino as well. As discussed, it's a bit surprising since Delfino was talking up the possibility of a return to Milwaukee just a month ago, and both Scott Skiles and John Hammond have stuck with Delfino through an inconsistent and injury-plagued three year tenure in Milwaukee. The obvious explanation would be that the Bucks have prioritized going after other guys first, though there's been very little talk of which free agent swingmen the Bucks might be pursuing. Might the Bucks renew their interest if/when some of their other options sign elsewhere?
- Woelfel writes that the Bucks have expressed interest in former Jazz wing C.J. Miles and the previously mentioned Kirk Hinrich, who played for Skiles in Chicago when the former Kansas standout was actually, you know, good. Miles most recently met with the Mavericks and continues to talk with the Jazz as well. Meanwhile, Hinrich has been talking with the Bulls and a half dozen or so other teams. Both players have been miserably inefficient the past couple seasons and aren't more than rotation guys, but Miles is still just 25 while Hinrich is now 31 and has fallen off dramatically since his last good season in 06/07.
- Wojnarowski reports that the Bucks "made a strong bid" for Sixers center Spencer Hawes before he agreed to re-up with Philadelphia for two years and $13.1 million. While those numbers don't sound too offensive, our Sixer-loving buds at Liberty Ballers aren't happy with it.
- Among the bigger guys, Woelfel also reports that the Bucks have talked to Joel Przybilla's agent Bill Duffy and discussed Kwame Brown and Carl Landry (of course!) with agent Mark Bartelstein. All of Woelfel's stuff seems to be coming from agents, so it's not clear how much legitimate interest the Bucks have showed or if it's just the usual chatter. Duffy is also Brandon Jennings' agent, so in that sense there's nothing surprising about the Bucks checking in on Przybilla, who was discussed for months last year before eventually signing in Portland. Meanwhile, Bartelstein represents a ton of guys including Jon Leuer.
- The Bucks showing interest in Hawes and (maybe) Przybilla suggests the Bucks have been looking around for another true center to complement Sam Dalembert and part-timers Larry Sanders, Ekpe Udoh, and Drew Gooden. Did they come to regret having no "real" centers after the Andrew Bogut injury? Presumably, though they had plenty of time to add someone like Przybilla or Kyrylo Fesenko last year after Bogut went down and opted against it.