NBA Offseason 2012: Should Boston Celtics Target Ersan Ilyasova?

Patrick BrittonAnalyst IJune 11, 2012

NEWARK, NJ - MARCH 12:  Ersan Ilyasova #7 of the Milwaukee Bucks looks on during warm ups against the New Jersey Nets at Prudential Center on March 12, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images)
Chris Chambers/Getty Images

If Kevin Garnett leaves Boston this offseason, the Celtics will have a huge hole to fill at power forward. Fortunately, they have tons of cap space and should use the money to target the best free-agent power forward on the market not named KG.

Ersan Ilyasova makes perfect sense for Boston. The Celtics were dreadful on the boards this season and lost important games because they couldn’t rebound. Ilyasova averaged 8.8 rebounds per game this year in just 27 minutes per game, making him one of the best free agents at grabbing boards. Against the Nets in February, Ersan put together a ridiculous line of 29 points and 25 rebounds.

There is a good chance that Ray Allen will leave this offseason, and the Celtics will need someone they can rely on to shoot the three. Ilyasova shot .455 beyond the arc this year, and although that was way above his career average, he is still one of the best-shooting big men in the league.

While he is not the elite defender Garnett is, Ilyasova still has quick feet and can stay in front of his man. He’s a hard worker and would be a favorite of Coach Doc Rivers.

Fans will obviously be upset seeing Kevin Garnett go, as he is almost impossible to replace, but Ilyasova is the Celtics' best option. If they can sign a quality center, they will still have a very talented starting lineup and should win the Atlantic Division for the sixth year in a row.