Bucks Trade Ersan Ilyasova to the Pistons in a Three-Player Swap

By Vincent Frank

The NBA Finals haven’t even wrapped up yet, but it appears the offseason has already started. The Milwaukee Bucks have sent big man Ersan Ilyasova to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for veterans Shawne Williams and Caron Butler.

Ilyasova, 28, had been a coveted player on the trade market for some time now. The 6-foot-10 forward has averaged double-digit points in each of the past four seasons. He’s coming off a 2014-15 campaign that saw him put up an average of 11.5 points and 4.8 rebounds in 58 games (36 starts).

By dealing for the former second-round pick from Turkey, the Pistons are obviously preparing for the departure of soon-to-be free agent Greg Monroe, who will likely move on to another team this summer. It’s a good fit for Detroit, especially considering Ilyasova can stretch the field next to fellow big man Andre Drummond.

“Ersan Ilyasova is a player we have coveted since we got to Detroit,” Pistons president/coach Stan Van Gundy said following the trade, via the Detroit Free Press. “Not only is he a proficient three-point shooter that can stretch the floor, he is a high-energy, hard-playing guy who fits extremely well with how we want to play. We are excited about what he can add to our team.”

For Milwaukee, this might have been a pure cost-cutting move. Ilyasova is set to earn $16.3 million over the next two seasons. By acquiring Williams and Butler, there’s a chance Milwaukee seeks buyout options for both players.

Butler, 35, averaged under six points per game in limited playing time for Detroit last season. Meanwhile, Williams played in 19 games and averaged under three points per outing for the Pistons in 2014-15.

Photo: USA Today Sports