Saturday, July 18, 2009

Ilyasova agreed with Milwaukee for 3 seasons

Forward Ersan Ilyasova is returning to the Milwaukee Bucks after playing the past two seasons for Regal FC Barcelona in Spain. Basketball sources confirmed Thursday that Ilyasova and the Bucks have agreed on a three-year deal estimated at nearly $7 million, with a first-year salary of $2.1 million.

An unspecified buyout of Ilyasova’s contract with the Spanish club is required. The 6-foot-9 Ilyasova will add to Milwaukee's depth at the power forward position, following the departure of free agent Charlie Villanueva, who signed with the Detroit Pistons.

Ilyasova was a second-round pick for Milwaukee in the 2005 draft, selected 36th overall in the same draft that brought the Bucks the top overall pick, Andrew Bogut. Ilyasova did not play for the Bucks in his first year, instead spending time with Tulsa in the National Basketball Development League. He appeared in 66 games, including 14 starts, with the Bucks during the 2006-’07 season and averaged 6.1 points and 2.9 rebounds while playing 14.8 minutes per game. He was pressed into service in part due to injuries to a number of key players.

In his two years with Barcelona, particularly last season, Ilyasova grew stronger and became a solid rebounder and legitimate three-point shooting threat. He shot over 40% from three-point range in the ACB (Spanish) League during the past season and averaged 10.7 points and 7.6 rebounds. Ilyasova also helped his Barcelona team reach the final four of the Euroleague, although it lost in the semifinals.

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