There are rumors that the Wizards and Bucks may be interested in a deal which, at its core, would swap stretch power forward Ersan Ilyasova for the Wizards’ #3 overall draft pick.
First of all, let’s properly source the cloudy chain of rumors. Washington point guard John Wall noted earlier this week that he though that Washington’s greatest need was a such a player. ”I feel like we need a four man that can pick and pop, so we’ll just see.”
From there, Gery Woelfel followed up in a radio interview by saying,
“Well, if they move (Ilyasova), it’s going to be a major move, because Ersan’s value is definitely pretty high. And one of the rumors, and I repeat RUMOR, all capital letters here — is that Washington might have some interest in Ilyasova and another Bucks’ player for the #3.”
That version of the trade would, of course, need contract filler coming from the Wizards to the Bucks since Ilyasova makes $8 million per season and the other player would only add to that.
Then there was a tweet by Sam Amico of Fox Sports to bolster it a bit:
Yes, heard it’s been explored. RT @rsatjr34: Gery Woelfel said on radio there’s rumor of Ilyasova to WAS for 3rd pick. Have you heard this?
Does the move make sense for the Bucks? Does it make sense for the Wizards? Ersan Ilyasova is an incredible combination rebounder/three-point shooter, but he’s a terrible defender. Here are the players who have had seasons of 13% rebounding percentage while making 42% or more of their three-point attempts (minimum 50 3-pt. FG made):
Is that worth a number three overall pick? No, because he has to be hidden on defense against forwards who 1) aren’t quick enough to blow by him — thus eliminating nearly every small forward in the league and 2) won’t bully him in the low post.
Here are Ilyasova’s defensive numbers from Synergy, numbers made worse by the fact that he spent a good time on the court with Larry Sanders, the league’s best defender in the paint.
Note the 0.94 points per possession allowed, good for 365th best in the league, and note also the 58.3% mark on possessions defended in the low post.
So the Bucks would certainly be interested in snagging the #3 overall pick, a move that would give them a young player to complement John Henson and Larry Sanders, a.k.a., the other two useful players that the Bucks have under contract. But don’t expect the Wizards to fork over their juicy draft pick for Ersan or a package centered around Ersan.
Unless, of course, Ernie Grunfeld can be “had”, which based on recent history isn’t entirely out of the realm of possibility.