Brian Boake recently gave a thumbs down to the potential trade of Andrea Bargnani for Ersan Ilyasova that’s been floating around.
Let me start off by saying that I like the Raptors as they are now, and I would be happy with no further trades. I don’t hate Bargnani’s play like some do and I still think he has elite potential. I think that, if Bryan Colangelo is to make a trade, it better be damn good. And I think a trade for Ilyasova would be. Here are a few things I like about the trade:
1) Ilyasova pulled down 8.8 rebounds last year in 28 minutes, the third-best rebounding rate among forwards. Yes, his numbers have taken a bit of a dive this year, but I believe he’s been playing more small forward (not 100% on that though). Bargnani, meanwhile, is rebounding at about half Ilyasova’s pace (for this year and last year) and that difference is vastly magnified for offensive rebounds (arguably more “important” rebounds).
2) Ilyasova can shoot just like Bargnani can–in fact, he’s shooting almost 45% from three-point range over the past two years. He has one of the softest strokes in the league, making him effective inside, mid-range and from downtown. Very very few players can boast that repertoire. I can’t even think of a single player right now.
3) He’s young (25) and may not have had his breakout season yet. Sure, his numbers are down this year but that’s the philosophy of “buy low sell high”, right? The buy low strategy got us Rudy Gay, and although only time will reveal the value of that acquisition, I think buying low is an essential strategy for middle-market teams trying to compete with the big boys.
So there you have it–bring him in, Bryan!