Free Agent Options #5: Ersan Ilyasova (UFA)
Ilyasova will be one of the biggest names on the market. He is now a legit 20-10 type of guy and had a number of huge nights during the season, like on February 19th when he scored 29 points and grabbed 25 rebounds against the Nets. He also had two other 30+ point 10+ rebound games. He made Andrew Bogut expendable, and the Bucks feel confident they can retain Ilyasova.
Unlike many players, Ilyasova shouldn’t be tempted to wander to a bigger market. He just wants to thrive in the NBA and play his best basketball, and that can happen anywhere. Turkish fans are going to worship him no matter what, and he’s not quite the level of talent that is going to take over American culture, anyway, not with standing the fact that he is a great player and could potentially make a few All Star teams before it is all said and done.
Landing Ilyasova would take a big contract, but it very well may be worth it. He would thrive in Boston and looks to be a legitimate force in this league. He’s fluid, strong, long, and a great finisher, and he now plays with a great backcourt in Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis. He’ll be wise to stick around and play with those two play makers, because it will get him a lot of easy looks and nice pick and roll tandems, that he may not find in Boston. For all Rondo is, he doesn’t offer the kind of scoring potential that Jennings does.