Many assumed that as soon as the Milwaukee Bucks fired Scotty Skiles, Ersan Ilyasova would quickly return to the form we saw from him after the All-Star break last season, which earned him a nice hefty contract during the offseason. Well, he was immediately re-inserted into the starting lineup the first game sans Skiles, but the statistical returns didn't appear until Saturday evening -- seven games later.
Ilyasova tagged the Portland Trail Blazers for a season-high 27 points (10-14 FG), 3 3-pointers, 14 boards, 4 dimes and a block in 26 minutes. Fantasy owners hope that's a sign of things to come for Ilyasova, who remains owned in just 46.8 percent of ESPN leagues. He is still worth a pickup in case he turns the jets back on.
However, if he doesn't get back on track consistently, ESPN NBA Insider Joe Kaiser thinks the Dallas Mavericks should give him a look before the trade deadline:
"[Trade] Shawn Marion for Ersan Ilyasova: Ilyasova's struggling this season after signing a big deal during the summer ($7.9 million guaranteed through each of the next three seasons), and Milwaukee's feeling some buyer's regret. However, sitting on the fringe of playoff contention, Marion's defense and savvy could elevate the Bucks past the seventh or eighth seed.For Dallas, Ilyasova is nine years younger and three inches taller than Marion, a rugged rebounder who's rare in that he can also step out and shoot the jumper. For a team that ranks last in the NBA in rebound rate -- the Mavs pull down just 47.6 percent of missed shots -- this is exactly the type of skill set they could use."