Ersan Ilyasova (6'10''-F-87) is in line for a lucrative payday this summer, when he will be an unrestricted free agent.
Milwaukee Bucks general manager John Hammond has said the team wants to re-sign the 6-foot-10 power forward, who has made major strides in the final year of a three-year, $7 million contract he signed in the summer of 2009.
But there could be plenty of competition for Ilyasova's services, both inside and outside the National Basketball Association.
Ilyasova played for Anadolu Efes in his native Turkey during the lockout last summer, and he played two seasons for Regal FC Barcelona after leaving the Bucks following the 2006-'07 season.
Wherever he goes, Ilyasova said Thursday that winning is of the utmost importance.
It's clear that Ilyasova puts a priority on the Bucks' playoff push and is eager to get into the postseason.
'I'm not really concerned about it (a new contract) and I don't really want to think about it,' Ilyasova said after the Bucks' practice session at the Cousins Center. 'I don't want it to be something that affects my game.
'All I care about now is to win games and be in the playoffs. When the season is over, we'll see what the options are and discuss with my manager.'
Ilyasova is a 'stretch' power forward in the NBA vernacular, a player who can shoot effectively from three-point range and also score on the interior. He has improved his shooting dramatically, hitting 49.3% from the field and 41.9% from three-point range.
Those marks compare with 43.6% shooting last season and a 29.8% mark from three-point distance.
He has made 36 of 86 three-pointers after going 36 of 121 a year ago.
He has played in 51 games, making 32 starts, and is averaging 12.8 points and a team-leading 8.7 rebounds in 27.5 minutes per game.
Ilyasova is building a strong case for the league's most improved player award and is on pace to become the first NBA player to average 12 points and eight rebounds in fewer than 28 minutes per game since Portland's Arvydas Sabonis and Boston's Robert Parrish did it in the 1990s.
In February Ilyasova became the third member of the Bucks' 25/25 club when he had career highs of 29 points and 25 rebounds in a Milwaukee victory at New Jersey.
'I really like to win,' Ilyasova said when asked what would play into his decision or if he would consider a return to Europe.
'I don't really care about a whole lot except winning. Some nights you may not be performing well, but if the team is winning, it's always good.
'Even overseas, I've always played for winning teams. We've been in the final four (with Barcelona). This season right now we started really bad, but now we're picking up. We're very close to .500 now.
'Things are working well for us right now and we have to stick with it, just push a little bit more. We have 12 games and we have to win as many games as we possibly can and see what happens.'
It seems clear that the Bucks' chances of re-signing Ilyasova would improve if the team reaches the playoffs or if he sees true signs of resurgence.
He was selected by the Bucks in the second round of the 2005 draft, when he was still a teenager and knew little English.
He played one NBA season in that first stint with the Bucks before heading to Barcelona for more seasoning, a decision that proved to be a good one.
Bucks general manager John Hammond, who was not with the franchise when Ilyasova was drafted, followed his progress and signed him to the second contract in 2009.
Now he has matured and developed into one of the team's on-court leaders, cherished by the fans for his all-out effort each night.
Ilyasova said the trade deadline deal for Monta Ellis and Ekpe Udoh could help push the team into the postseason.
'It's like our first year when we made the playoffs (2010) and they made a great move (acquiring John Salmons) at the trade deadline,' Ilyasova said. 'It was a good decision to bring Monta to our team.
'He just gives us more scoring ability. And he plays good defense, too, and shares the ball. I think we have good team chemistry right now. Everyone is reading each other and we're playing well together.'
Theodore number one in Turkey for round 9 - 16 hours ago
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American Point guard Jordan Theodore (182-PG-89) had a great game in the last round for top-ranked Banvit BK, receiving a Eurobasket.com Player of the Week award for round 9. The 27-year old player was the main contributor (19 points, three rebounds and seven assists) to his team's victory, helping them to outclass Trabzonspor (#10, 3-6) with 31-point margin 89-58. It allowed Banvit BK to consolidate first place in the Turkish BSL. Banvit BK have a solid 8-1 record. In the team's last gam... [read more]
American Point guard Jordan Theodore (182-PG-89) had a great game in the last round for top-ranked Banvit BK, receiving a Eurobasket.com Player of the Week award for round 9. The 27-year old player was the main contributor (19 points, three rebounds and seven assists) to his team's victory, helping them to outclass Trabzonspor (#10, 3-6) with 31-point margin 89-58. It allowed Banvit BK to consolidate first place in the Turkish BSL. Banvit BK have a solid 8-1 record. In the team's last game Theodore had a remarkable 70.0% from 2-point range. He turned to be Banvit BK's top player in his first season with the team. Former Seton Hall University star has very solid stats this year. Theodore is league's best scorer averaging so far 22.8ppg. Theodore is in league's top in assists (3rd best: 7.3apg) and averages impressive 61.3% FGP.
The second best player in last round's games was 26-year old Lithuanian Evaldas Kairys (207-F/C-90) of Usak. Kairys had a very good evening with 25 points and 9 rebounds. Bad luck as Usak lost that game 73-83 to the higher-ranked Galatasaray (#5, 7-2). Usak is still second from the bottom in the standings. 7 lost games are too many comparing to just two victories Usak managed to get this year. Kairys is well-known at Usak and is a proven leader in his second season with the team.
Third on the list of top players last round was American forward Devin Thomas (206-PF-94) of TED Kolejliler (#16). Thomas showcased his all-around game by recording 21 points, nine rebounds and four assists in the last round. Despite Thomas' great performance TED Kolejliler lost 67-85 to the higher-ranked Demir IBB (#9, 4-5). But his team cannot count on just a single player as he also needs help of the other teammates. TED Kolejliler can only dream about fighting for top spots in the league. They have awful season losing so far all 9 games. Too bad for Thomas he does not play for a better team. But maybe if he did, his season stats would not be that high. Thomas has individually a great season in Turkey. After only 7 games, he made it on the list of the league's leaders in rebounds with 10.0rpg (#1 in league). He also has 1.1bpg and FGP: 53.5%.
Other top performing players last week: 4. Davon Jefferson (204-F-86) of Gaziantep - 17 points, 13 rebounds and 3 assists 5. Angelo Caloiaro (205-F-89) of Demir IBB - 13 points, 11 rebounds and 2 assists 6. Michael Thompson (177-PG-89) of Besiktas - 22 points, 3 rebounds and 4 assists 7. DaJuan Summers (203-F-88) of Pinar Karsiyaka - 18 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists 8. Ian Hummer (201-F-90) of TED Kolejliler - 17 points and 7 rebounds 9. Damian Kulig (205-F/C-87) of Banvit BK - 13 points and 10 rebounds 10. Emir Preldzic (206-F/G-87) of Galatasaray - 24 points and 4 rebounds
The Player of the week is chosen based on efficiency calculation, but also including game result, importance of the game, if played recorded double-double/triple-double, etc. The efficiency formula is a combination of various formulas used by different basketball organizations/leagues. We got involved many basketball scouts and journalists to assure it's accuracy. The formula: 1.5*PTS + 3* (REB+AST+ST+BL-TO) - 2*BSAG - 4*PF + 3*PFRV + 4* (2FGPM+3FGPM) + 1.5*FTM - 3* (2FGPA-2FGPM) - 3* (3FGPA-3FGPM) - (FTA-FTM)
Best Balikesir Basketbol Kulubu (BSL) added to their roster 23-year old American guard Andrew Andrews (188-88kg-93, college: Washington). He already started the season at Charlotte Hornets in the NBA. Andrews was voted All-Pac-12 1st Team in 2016 at his college time. The previous (12-13) season Andrews played at another team Huskies in U.S. semi-pro league NCAA1 where in 31 games he had 7.8ppg, 3.0rpg and 2.3apg. He just graduated from University of Washington and it is his first season a... [read more]
Best Balikesir Basketbol Kulubu (BSL) added to their roster 23-year old American guard Andrew Andrews (188-88kg-93, college: Washington). He already started the season at Charlotte Hornets in the NBA. Andrews was voted All-Pac-12 1st Team in 2016 at his college time. The previous (12-13) season Andrews played at another team Huskies in U.S. semi-pro league NCAA1 where in 31 games he had 7.8ppg, 3.0rpg and 2.3apg. He just graduated from University of Washington and it is his first season as a pro.
The Turkish representative Ersan Ilyasova(208-F-87) is advancing in his career in NBA. Yet another double double in NBA against Memphis Grizzlies makes him the TOP Scorer of Philadelphia 76ers. The Turkish player stayed 40 min on the court scoring 23 points, 17 rebounds and 4 assists. Despite the terrible 3 point percentage of Memphis Grizzlies (11%) Philadelphia 76ers registers their 18. loss by 91-96 keeping their last place in the Western Conference. [read more]
The Turkish player stayed 40 min on the court scoring 23 points, 17 rebounds and 4 assists. Despite the terrible 3 point percentage of Memphis Grizzlies (11%) Philadelphia 76ers registers their 18. loss by 91-96 keeping their last place in the Western Conference.
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