2012 NBA Free Agency: Day Eight Recap


Mar 31, 2012; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Ersan Ilyasova (7) during the game against the Memphis Grizzlies at the Bradley Center. The Grizzlies defeated the Bucks 99-95. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE


Ersan Ilyasova, Milwaukee Bucks — five-years, $45 million

Milwaukee made an aggressive stab at retaining Ilyasova. They may overpaid for a 25-year old who elevated his play in a contract season (fishy, huh?) that did, to his credit, display a unique ability to score from the interior and perimeter while hauling a high percentage of rebounds. How much of that is repeatable though?

That is the underlying question and that’s the crux of Milwaukee’s problem: Do they place more credence on his most recent success, as tantalizing as the numbers suggest, or do they trust the three years of data that contradict his finest season? Ilyasova raised his 3-point percentage to an abnormal rate of 45.5%. Juxtaposed against his career norm (33.5%), it could easily be an outlier. Or it can be attributed to a young player that underwent a noticeable internal improvement that was supported by statistics.

Milwaukee felt the risk of acquiring the younger, less effective Ilyasova was worth the potential value of netting a guy who can shoot for 40% from behind the arc and grab greater than 20% of his teams rebounds. It probably isn’t a great value but I don’t have any qualms with Milwaukee’s risk assessment.

Jeff Green, Boston Celtics — four-years, $36 million

On the other hand … I have serious questions about this deal. Why would Boston shell out $9 million per year to a guy who missed the entire 2011-12 season with an aortic aneurysm and, prior to the consummation of this contract, performed at a rate that can be best described as bleh. Bleh. Like 12.8 PER bleh.

There’s nothing particularly special about Green — his game has the potential of resembling some flawless, esoteric piece of art, albeit unremarkable in any facet. The “art” would probably feel insufficient. Green has the potential of playing solid defense and scoring at a palatable rate. But don’t you think $9 million per year for four-years is a little bit much for a player that, at this juncture, is strictly potential at this point?

Orlando signed Ryan Anderson to a four-year, $36 million contract then traded to New Orleans for Gustavo Ayon (sign-and-trade)

The New Orleans’ front office should deserve major credit for their efforts. They’ve unloaded a couple of poor contracts, relented on re-signing Chris Kaman and they’ve found an elite spot-shooter that can do more than just shoot.

Paying Anderson $9 million per year, compared to the enigma that is Ilyasova, is less risky with three consecutive successful seasons under his belt. Anderson’s shooting proficiency is, therefore, more reliable. But not only is Anderson an elite stretch 4, but he excelled as an offensive rebounder. Plus, it isn’t insane to theorize that Anderson will see his defensive rebounding percentage rise without Dwight Howard corralling every defensive rebound in sight.

I also like this deal for the Hornets because, though Anderson is an highly effective weapon, he won’t take away possessions from Eric Gordon, Austin Rivers and Jarrett Jack. His efficiency is still highly dependent on catch-and-shooting, as spot-ups represented 35.4% of his offensive possessions last year. Relying on a guy that scores 1.09 points per possession isn’t a bad fallback option.

As for Orlando: They acquired a cost-effective forward in Ayon. Ayon will only garner $3 million over the next two seasons, both of which are team options. (Flexibility!) He won’t help Orlando retain Dwight but he’ll be a nice option on pick-and-rolls and he won’t screw up too much. The Magic should avoid building a mediocre basketball team at all costs and paying Anderson would’ve ensured a couple extra years as a borderline playoff threat.