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Video: Ilyasova goes off in Euroleague

It's hard to say at this point what (if any) role Barcelona's Ersan Ilyasova might play in the Bucks' future plans, but we're happy to report that he's looking more and more like an NBA player these days.  Playing against German club side Alba Berlin in the Euroleague final 16 round, Ersan went off for 30 points (6/7 threes) and 11 boards in just 25 minutes of action.  For the season he's now averaging 11.4 ppg and 7.3 rpg in 21 mpg in the Euroleague as well as 10.0 ppg and 7.7 rpg (second in the league) in 22 mpg of Spanish league action. 

Having caught a couple Barcelona games this season, I'd caution against expecting too much from Ilyasova--he's probably a Nocioni-type at best, though he's so scrappy on the boards and defensively that he's probably not a threat to be a complete bust, either.  He's a bit of a tweener at 6'9", but having three point range means he can contribute as a floor-spacing PF or bang with the burliest of SFs.

Those traits should appeal to Scott Skiles, and don't forget that Director of Player Personnel Dave Babcock helped draft Ilyasova in 2005 and has continued to keep close tabs on him since he left for Spain two summers ago. You might also remember that Ilyasova was back in Milwaukee last summer working out at the Cousins Center, and Gery Woelfel also mentioned a while ago that his wife is from Milwaukee.  So yeah, there's ample reason to think both sides would  be interested in getting Ilyasova back in a Bucks uni.

The biggest problem with bringing Ilyasova back is that he's already making a nice chunk of change in Spain--reportedly something in the ballpark of €2.5 million--and because most European deals are net of tax, that means the Bucks would have to give him close to MLE dollars just to match his current take-home pay.  Obviously that's not going to happen, but the allure of the NBA could very well convince Ilyasova to take a paycut to come back to Milwaukee.  If Ilyasova does want to come back stateside, the Bucks continue to hold his early Bird rights (ie he'd be an RFA), which in all likelihood makes them the only game in town.  I don't see another team making him a big offer, but the Bucks will likely take a wait-and-see approach.