Pistons get Ersan Ilyasova from Bucks for Butler, Williams
The Pistons acquired 6-10 forward Ersan Ilyasova, a spot-up shooter, from the Milwaukee Bucks for Caron Butler and Shawne Williams on Thursday.
Ilyasova, 28, lacks a true post-up game but can hit open jumpers, run the floor and is a pretty good offensive rebounder.
The trade seems to suggest the end of Greg Monroe's time with the Pistons. If Monroe, a free agent, signs elsewhere, Ilyasova could immediately slide into Monroe's power forward spot.
If the Pistons do not re-sign Monroe, Ilyasova's lack of an inside game presumably would allow Andre Drummond to become the Pistons' primary inside threat on offense.
The Pistons have been seeking outside shooting in the draft and are looking at a number of stretch fours and big shooting guards. They are thought to be interested in Croatian shooting guard Mario Hezonja and outside shooting big men Kristaps Porzingis of Latvia, Myles Turner from Texas, and Trey Lyles of Kentucky.
Ilyasova, a native of Turkey, was drafted by the Bucks in the second round in 2005. He just completed his seventh season with the Bucks and has NBA career averages of 23.9 minutes, 10.7 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.1 assists.
He is under contract for $7.9 million in 2015-16 and $8.4 million in 2016-17. The last year is a team option and only $400,000 is guaranteed.
"Ersan Ilyasova is a player we have coveted since we got to Detroit," said Pistons coach and president Stan Van Gundy. "Not only is he a proficient three-point shooter that can stretch the floor, he is a high-energy, hard-playing guy who fits extremely well with how we want to play. We are excited about what he can add to our team."
Ilyasova is a career 38-percent shooter on NBA 3-pointers (428-for-1,157). He played in 58 games in 2014-15, starting 36, and averaged 11.5 points and 4.8 rebounds.
After his rookie season with the Bucks in 2006-07 as a 19-year-old, Ilyasova played in Spain for two years before returning to Milwaukee.
Butler, a wing, signed a two-year deal with the Pistons prior to last season. His $4.5 million salary for 2015-16 is non-guaranteed.
This gives Butler, 35, the opportunity to return home. He is from Wisconsin and does charity work for his old community off Lake Michigan. In 78 games this past season Butler averaged 5.9 points and 2.5 rebounds. His strengths were helping the team bond and providing leadership.
Williams, 29, a small forward, was claimed on waivers from the Pelicans in February.
"We appreciate the contributions of Caron and Shawne," Van Gundy said. "Caron, in particular, is difficult to say goodbye to. Not only did he play well for us, his leadership went above and beyond. I'm not sure I've ever seen a single player have a more a positive impact on a team than Caron did on ours. He is a special person and we will always respect and appreciate what he did here."