Almost two years ago when Milwaukee Bucks forward Ersan Ilyasova was a free agent, the San Antonio Spurs were one team rumored to be interested in Ilyasova, before he decided to re-sign with the Bucks.
Fast-forward to today, as the Bucks are rumored to be exploring options for an Ilyasova trade, and the Philadelphia 76ers are also looking reportedly to ship out forward Thaddeus Young, Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio's sources say the Spurs could have interest in each player, as the NBA Trade deadline approaches on Thursday.
Some intriguing names to keep eye on as potential moving parts, mentioned to me by league insiders: Milwaukee Bucks forward Ersan Ilyasova and guard Gary Neal; Philadelphia 76ers forward Thaddeus Young; Detroit Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey; and, of course, Rockets center Omer Asik.
The Spurs, I am told, would love to land Ilyasova or Young. But no one's sure how they could actually make that happen.
Ilyasova is set to make $7.9 million this season and each of the next two season's per BasketballInsiders.com. In the 2016-17 season, Ilyasova has a non-guranteed option set at $8.4 million. At 26 years old, Ilyasova is averaging 10.2 points, 5.9 rebounds, shooting 37.5% from the field, and 29.3% from 3-point range.
Young is set to make roughly $8.9 million this season, $9.4 million next season, and close to $10 million in the 2015-16 season with an early termination option via Basketball Insiders. At 25 years old, Young is averaging 17.1 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.1 steals, shooting 48% from the field, and 32.2% from 3-point range.
As Amico mentions, the Spurs don't have what most would assume are the necessary pieces to put such a deal together. San Antonio does have several expiring contracts like Boris Diaw, Matt Bonner, Patty Mills, Nando De Colo, and Aron Baynes' deals, as all but Baynes and De Colo have qualifying options.
However, the Spurs aren't expected to receive a top-draft pick because they're likely to finish as one of the top-tier teams in the Western Conference, while they also will have two second round picks from past deals.
So, unless Philadelphia or Milwaukee are looking just for salary shedding moves with high draft picks, a deal is highly unlikely to get done.
The NBA trade deadline is set for Thursday February 20.
Hat tip: NJ.com
Ideas from the Trade Machine
Using ESPN's Trade Machine, here are two ideas of deal's that could work through the framework of the trade-machine. None of the names below have been mentioned as possible trade pieces. These are just examples.
Huge fan of acquiring Ilyasova. He is the kind of player that helps our short term and long term problems. He brings good rebounding and good shooting and his skill set should blend in well with our system. Short term he helps fill the 3/4 space we have behind Kawhi (and some minutes at the 4 of course). Long term he is young enough that he can continue to be a key part of our team in the post Duncan/Manu period. I like this move a lot if it can happen at a reasonable cost.
Not a fan of either trade scenario. Trading for a guy who will consume 8-9 million till 2016 is not the spurs way. Plus these guys would be backups at least this season and next season. Unless their name is Manu Spurs dont pay bench players 8-9 million. Its not wise especially when Tony Parkers contract is coming up and he will get $15-16 mil/per yr for at least 4 yrs. Plus better role guys are becoming free agents this summer: Luol Deng, Greg Monroe, Danny Granger, Ed Davis, Marcin Gortat. Not all these guys will get big $$. Its best to keep our options open.
ERSANNNNNNNNN! Man, we would be the team to beat with either one of them. Ersan is a GREAT shooter in the Spurs system. Because of how the bucks play, he is force to shoot dribble ups.
@projectspurs Those guys won't make the Spurs better. We need some 1 on 1 athletic animals out there.
@iAintJake RC II hesitant he needs to pull the trigger and get it done smh
@Rambler Have to ask how does llyasova help the spurs get past OKC? Can he defend durrant or westbrook? Then how does he help us beat miami? those are the short and long term problems right now. Kawhi is going to play massive minutes in the playoffs just like he did last yr. Pop likes to shorten the rotation come playoffs. A reason why Stephen Jackson is no longer with the spurs. So 3 is out of the question. Then you say he can have minutes at the 4 which means he cuts into diaw minutes. Spurs need a facilitator at the 4. Someone who moves the ball and plays good D. That is not IIyasova forte. I just dont see the upside in trading for him especially if we lose Diaw or Green in the process.
@SCOLFIELD1421 CURRY J? Did Spurs hire an Indian rapper?
@scottmor83 He's on an awful team, which makes for poor numbers. However, they have had interest in him in the past.
@johnisbased man forreal, i remember i told you we should get thad. that'd be a sick acquisition
@terrifyingdino We'll find out in the next two days. Stuff usually doesn't start leaking until after ASG.
@Tjaramil It’s an interesting question. Firstly, I would say that our short term problems are actually a little bit more complex than how do we get past OKC and Miami. I think we have struggled against elite teams this year, and I think one of the reasons is a lack of depth at the 3 & 4 positions (and injuries of course, which exacerbate this).
Specifically as it relates to OKC/MIA I think Ilyasova can definitely provide back up minutes at the 3 with good length and shooting (I think Ilyasova does okay, but let’s face it, the league isn’t exactly overrun with Durant or LBJ stoppers – it’s a team game at that level ). At the 4, I think he spreads the floor more effectively than we do now, and whilst I also value Diaw’s facilitation, again, I think you may be underrating Ilyasova’s ability as a positional defender (alternately, I could be overrating it!) He makes good decisions. He is strong. He crashes the boards like his job depended on it and he shoots well enough to make your Ibaka’s/Perkins types come away from the key to defend. He is a guy we can use.
Long term, the case is even stronger. He is young (26) and at a reasonably affordable contract (roughly $8mil) locked in for 2-3 years after this one. I think he makes a great stretch 4 in our system. He will get great looks. If he can manage some consistency, he could be a star.
Again though, I’m only saying if the price is right. He isn’t a guy we mortgage the future for. It just sounds like he might be available, and if so, I would like to see us get it done.
@iAintJake take min away from bonner and less off tiago and Timmy is much needed if we can't get a back up PG I don't trust patty