Ersan Ilyasova would have been my choice for the NBA's Most Improved Player in 2011/12 if I had a vote, but the Bucks forward finished as the runner-up behind Ryan Anderson. Even without the award, Ilyasova appears poised for a big payday in free agency this summer. Bucks GM John Hammond said today that "it's not going to be easy" to re-sign Ilyasova, though Milwaukee would like to bring him back.
Hammond and Bucks owner Herb Kohl spoke at a news conference today about a number of topics, with Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times rounding up the highlights via Twitter:
- A contract extension for Brandon Jennings is "not something we have to do," says Hammond. Jennings is entering the fourth year of his rookie deal and will be eligible for an extension.
- Kohl says he has no plans to extend Hammond or coach Scott Skiles this summer. The pair are entering the final year of their respective contracts.
- The team will be seeking a "real quality big man," according to Kohl.
- Kohl went on the offensive for a new Milwaukee arena, saying he'd put his own money into it, according to Woelfel. However, the owner added that he wants to secure the Bradley Center for the "next several years."