The Thunder are expected to pick up Ilyasova's $8.4 million team option for the 2016-17 season, Erik Horne of The Oklahoman reports. "We traded for [Ilyasova] because we think he's a good, complementary player to our core players," GM Sam Presti said.
Though Victor Oladipo and No. 11 overall draft pick Domantas Sabonis were the main prizes in last Thursday's four-player trade that sent Serge Ibaka to the Magic, Ilyasova isn't being viewed as a mere throw-in to the deal. It appears the Thunder believe that Ilyasova's ability to stretch the floor and contribute on the boards will make him a viable rotation option, especially if Sabonis is unable to crack the rotation as a rookie. With Ibaka out of town, Ilyasova currently tops the depth chart at power forward, but the Thunder could very well sign a free agent this offseason who would bump Ilyasova to a reserve gig.
Ilyasova was traded Thursday to the Thunder along with Victor Oladipo and the draft rights to No. 11 overall pick Domantas Sabonis in exchange for Serge Ibaka, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports.
The Magic gave up a lot of youth and upside in the form of Oladipo and Sabonis in order to acquire Ibaka, but ridding themselves of Ilyasova's $8.4 million cap hit for the 2016-17 season likely made the organization feel better about the deal. Ilyasova has now been with four organizations in just over a year, but still possesses some usefulness as a power forward who can stretch the floor while providing good energy on the glass. It's unclear if the Thunder view Ilyasova as a viable starting option entering the upcoming season, however, after he struggled for much of the 2015-16 campaign with the Pistons and Magic, averaging 10.4 points and 5.4 rebounds in 25.4 minutes per game while shooting 42.4 percent from the floor and 37.1 percent from three-point range.
Ersan Ilyasova scored a team-high 22 points (10-13 FG, 2-2 3Pt) with six rebounds and three blocks over 37 minutes in Monday's 107-98 win against the Bucks.
Ilyasova drew the start with Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon sidelined, sticking it to his former team with arguably his best scoring performance of the season. The stretch four was a handful for Milwaukee to guard all night, particularly in the paint. Ilyasova should get another start Wednesday against the Hornets, so keep him on your DFS radar as a bargain buy with upside.
Ersan Ilyasova will draw the start in Monday's matchup with the Bucks, play-by-play announcer Ted Davis reports.
Ilyasova will matchup against his former team former team for the third time this season. He has averaged 6.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 1.0 assists in 24.5 minutes in his previous two tilts with the Bucks. Both Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic will be sidelined for this contest meaning the frontcourt will have plenty of playing time available. Ilyasova should have a solid chance at relatively higher production.
Ersan Ilyasova (collarbone) will be available off the bench for Thursday's game against the Pacers, John Denton of Orlando Orlando Magic .com reports.
Coach Scott Skiles signed off on the forward's return from a three-game absence after he made it through shootaround without any unexpected discomfort with his sprained shoulder. Ilyasova is only averaging 7.8 points, 6.3 rebounds, 0.8 steals, and 0.7 three-pointers over 20.8 minutes in his 12 appearances in March, production that doesn't provide much value outside of deeper formats. He'll likely take away minutes from Andrew Nicholson.
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