February 6, 2013; Toronto, ON, Canada; Toronto Raptors forward-center Andrea Bargnani (7) shoots as Boston Celtics forward Jeff Green (8) defends during the first half at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Trade Rumors: Toronto Raptors ship Andrea Bargnani out for Ersan Ilyasova?


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.

Feb 6, 2013; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Milwaukee Bucks small forward Ersan Ilyasova (7) shoots during the first half against the Utah Jazz at EnergySolutions Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Tags: Andrea Bargnani Ersan Ilyasova Featured Milwaukee Bucks Popular Toronto Raptors Trade Rumors

  • http://www.facebook.com/hirosh.abeywardane Hirosh Aby

    I’ve always been a fan of Ilyasova. I think this could be a win-win forboth teams asboth players under performing for their respective teames. Change could give them a boost for both players.

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hello Hirosh: You may well be right. I suspect I’m in the minority with my thumbs-down opinion.
      I like Ersan too – I remember being deeply impressed the first time I saw him by his tough defense on Andrea. I’m hoping for a lot of comments on this deal, which is the most feasible one floated so far. Thanks for being the first commenter.

  • [email protected]

    I do not like this deal as I still feel that Andrea is a much better player. We did not have stability in the coaching department. If Andrea was with Spurs he would by now have become a very strong force. I will keep Andrea and I believe that Coach Cassey will develop him into a much better player.

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi: I agree, but Andrea is rapidly running out of chances. I was at the Denver game, and his 3-ball shooting was bad, despite open looks. Perhaps he’s still feeling ill, but how long can we wait for him before moving on? I may try more trades with him as the prize before the deadline passes.
      Thanks for commenting.

  • [email protected]

    Bad deal. Raptors should try to trade Bargs for a high first round draft pick and go after Bennett.

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi: If we could find a lottery team that would give up their pick for Andrea, I’d do the deal in a heartbeat. Bennett would be spectacular.
      Thanks for commenting.

  • Greg Hall

    Funny thing, I was just in the ESPN trade machine just before I saw this article and was trying to work out possible trades for Bargnani and I had Ilyasova and Dalembert for Bargnani and Fields because I was aware of Milwaukee’s interest in moving Dalembert, admittedly we would probably have throw in Acy or a pick for that deal, but as long as it’s a 2nd not a first I’m still in for that

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi Greg: It’s hard for me to see Dalembert as a Rap, primarily because he has a reputation as a hothead. Remember when Leo Rautins kicked him off Canada’s national team, while on the bus to a game? Of course, sinners can become saints. If there’s one thing I try to remember as I do this stuff, it’s this – anything can happen.
      I’d be reluctant to throw Acy into any deal. I think the guy might be a diamond in the rough.
      Thanks for commenting.

      • Greg Hall

        I was not aware of Dalembert and Rautins history, I just know he’d been a solid contributor without knowing much about his attitude, in that case I definitely prefer your original post, or maybe throw Drew Gooden in for Dalembert and remove my thoughts of Acy and/or a 2nd pick, but I like your suggestion or trying to get some more backup big man depth

  • http://www.facebook.com/duckula3 Donald Lai

    sorry i’m a bit of topic here. i prefer trading AB for Josh Smith more than any rumor names i.e. ilyasova, boozer, gasol. JSmith will make us a much faster team, and much more exciting,.. faster in defense recovery, better shot blocking and rebounding… on offence he will create match up problems, and the raps will be on the highlight reel every time they play (featuring 4 awesome dunkers)
    the only question is his contract, whether he is worth the max or not… but i assume gasol’s contract isn’t small either

    • Greg Hall

      Not wanting to be rude, but Josh Smith is far from a max player and I would quickly turn away from the Raptors for getting a guy who jacks up fall away contested 18 foot jump shots with 18 left on the shot clock (thank you Tony Reali from Around the Horn/Pardon the Interruption) for that reference

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi Donald: No, you’re not off topic. All trade possibilities are fair game. I may work your Smith for AB concept into my next post.
      Thanks for commenting.
      P.S. Gasol’s contract is NOT small.

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