Ilyasova averaged 15.5 ppg and 16 rpg in the semis vs. Joventut
Ersan Ilyasova and Barcelona kick of the Spanish league finals today against TAU Ceramica at 2:30 central time today. The best-of-five format starts with two games in Barcelona before shifting to TAU's home gym in the Basque city of Vitoria-Gasteiz next week. The decisive fifth game would be played in Barcelona if necessary.
Barcelona swept through the first two rounds of the playoffs by beating both Iurbentia Bilbao and DKV Joventut two games to none. And more importantly to Bucks fans, Ilyasova has arguably been Barca's best player of late, averaging 13.3 ppg and a beastly 11.0 rpg in the team's four playoff games. The rebounding numbers are especially impressive when you consider that the second-highest average in the playoffs is only 6.2 rpg (by former Celtic bust Jerome Moiso). You can watch the game online for $4.50 over at ACB.com.
While Ilyasova has one year left on his contract with Barcelona, he could return to the NBA this summer if he so chooses. Ilyasova would be a restricted free agent in that scenario, meaning the the Bucks retain his early Bird rights and could match any offer sheet he receives from another NBA team. In practicality, it's unlikely another team would try to sign Ersan, though they could offer up to the MLE as a first year salary. Especially given the Bucks' issues at the forward position, Ilyasova could get a long look if the Bucks don't address the problem through the draft or in a trade.