Shortly after the Bucks' season ended, GM John Hammond said "it's not going to be easy" to re-sign Ersan Ilyasova, who had a breakout 2011/12 campaign and finished second in voting for Most Improved Player of the Year. It appears that the Nets are one team the Bucks will need to outbid for Ilyasova's services, as Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times hears from NBA officials that Brooklyn is considered the frontrunner for the power forward.
We've heard about the Nets' interest in Ilyasova multiple times throughout the year, and according to Woelfel, the team scouted the 25-year-old "extensively" near the end of the season. Depending on whether or not the Nets re-sign their own free agents, they could have a ton of cap space to use on Ilyasova. The Turkish forward, who earned $2.54MM in 2011/12, is said to be in line for an annual salary of about $8MM.
While Milwaukee has interest in re-signing Ilyasova, it's unknown if the interest is mutual. The Bucks hold the big man's Bird rights and have more than enough cap flexibility to make him a competitive offer, but Ilyasova figures to draw significant interest on the open market. There might be two or three more talented power forwards available this summer, but unlike Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan, Ilyasova, at age 25, is a strong candidate for a long-term contract.