With the NBA Trade Deadline only a few days away, many general managers will be making moves to help improve their team for the second half of the season. One big name that has been discussed in trade talks is Milwaukee Bucks big man, Ersan Ilyasova.
After failing to land Ilyasova in the summer, the Raptors would be wise to trade for the big man this deadline. Ilyasova is owed just over $32 million over the next four years, which is very affordable for a capable starting power forward.
Although Ilyasova’s numbers have dipped compared to last year, his play has picked up significantly in the New Year. This month, he has averaged 14.1 points per game, 6.3 rebounds per game and has shot 53 percent from the field. Dwane Casey is a fan of players who work hard, play defense and rebound, so Ilyasova should fit in well with the Raptors from the get go.
While Amir Johnson has impressed many this season by playing well as a starting power forward, Ilyasova would fit better with the current starting lineup. Both DeMar DeRozan and Rudy Gay are most effective when they drive to the basket, and the Raptors currently don’t have enough shooters on the floor to help draw defenders off of Toronto’s swingmen. Ilyasova has shot over 44 percent from beyond the arc this season, which means the Raptors would be able to space the floor much better with him on the court.
Considering the Raptors are currently chasing the Bucks for the final playoff spot, Milwaukee would most likely want a capable starter in return for Ilyasova. Andrea Bargnani could use a change in scenery and Milwaukee has the cap room to acquire him. However, because of Bargnani’s struggles, Toronto might need to throw in a player like Quincy Acy to sweeten the deal for the Bucks.
This trade works on ESPN’s trade machine.
Although the Raptors are still six games out of a playoff spot, a trade for Ersan Ilyasova could allow them to reach the postseason for the first time since the 2007-08 season. Toronto would be smart to acquire the Turkish forward before Thursday’s deadline.