The latest smoke signals from Raptor sources indicate an interest in acquiring Ersan Ilyasova from the Milwaukee Bucks in return for Andrea Bargnani. Ilyasova, a Turk, is a stretch-4 like AB. Although he’s slightly smaller than our man, he’s considerably tougher (who isn’t?), and will mix it up inside as needed. Ersan is in his fourth NBA season, and was thought to be on the edge of a big leap in production this season, which is why the Bucks locked him up with a hefty pay raise and contract extension. However, his season has been a disappointment to date, with decreases in his points and rebounds. The effect of a mid-season coaching change in Milwaukee seems to have been mildly positive for Ersan, but I doubt he’s considered a building block any longer. The Bucks’ offense lives and dies on the contributions of its tiny guards, Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings, so Ersan probably has few plays called for him.
Because this transaction financially works straight up, we have the luxury of considering it from a purely basketball perspective. I’m not feeling it, Gentle Reader. I’m trying without success to talk myself into believing this is an OK deal for both sides. Perhaps I’m struggling with the pointlessness of trading one stretch-4 for another, or maybe I’m apprehensive about taking on a player whose career has cratered when it should be in its prime. A Pollyanna-ish General Manager, possibly with the initials BC, will blather about how sometimes players just need a change of scenery to revitalize their career. I suppose that’s true on occsasion, but it seems a threadbare argument on which to justify the upheaval of a trade.
I’ve said my piece – it’s thumbs down. What do you think? Let us know in the Comments.
Brian Boake is a co-editor for Raptors Rapture. “Like” Raptors Rapture on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @RaptorsRapture for all the latest news and updates about the best damn NBA team from Canada.