13. Ersan Ilyasova
If you asked some Bucks fans right now, they would have Ilyasova as last in these rankings. While I don’t agree with that completely, obviously, I do admit that Ilyasova’s value is probably at its lowest point since joining the Bucks.
Last summer, the Bucks signed Ilyasova to a three-year deal worth $21 million, with the final year not guaranteed.
The move made sense, the Bucks desperately needed outside shooting and rebounding, which is what Ilyasova brings to the table, along with solid defense and veteran experience.
The length and amount of the contract, though, puzzled some as it seemed like the Bucks outbid themselves for a player they probably could have gotten for half the price.
At the start of the season, the fit worked about as well could be expected. Ilyasova was new coach Budenholzer’s go-to sixth man off the bench, spacing the floor for Giannis Antetokounmpo and gobbling up rebounds.
Then Ilyasova broke his nose in a game against Cleveland on December 14, causing him to miss eight games. Since his return, Ilyasova hasn’t been able to consistently return to form.
His three-point shooting has cratered, falling to just 34 percent, and most of his offense has gone along with it. Ilyasova is still providing defense by taking charges (he leads the NBA in charges taken), but without at least the threat of a jumper, his value has deflated drastically.
The Bucks will hope it’s more of just a slump rather than a larger downward trend as the 31-year-old forward gets older.
So now Ilyasova is in a slump that is difficult to get out of because he’s not playing as much.
With his age, contract and struggles as of late, Ilyasova’s trade value has declined, but he can still get it back up by hitting some shots and contributing in other ways on both ends.
Until then, don’t expect any NBA teams to call the Bucks about his availability.