The Hawks are nearing an agreement on a buyout with veteran power forward Ersan Ilyasova, reports Sam Amick of USA Today (Twitter link). Assuming the buyout is finalized by March 1, Ilyasova would retain his postseason eligibility for a new team.
Frequently mentioned as a probable trade candidate in the weeks leading up to this month’s deadline, Ilyasova ultimately stayed in Atlanta through February 8. He was immediately identified as a potential candidate for a buyout, particularly with teammate Marco Belinelli quickly reaching a buyout agreement of his own with the Hawks. However, early indications were that Ilyasova wasn’t desperate to get out of Atlanta.
Ilyasova, 30, has had a solid year with the Hawks, averaging 10.9 PPG and 5.5 RPG in 46 contests (25.5 MPG). The stretch four has a shooting line of .459/.359/.800. All of those numbers are in the general ballpark of his career averages.
While Amick (via Twitter) names the Bucks and Raptors as potential suitors for Ilyaosva, the big man’s skill set would appeal to a number of playoff-bound teams. He should draw plenty of interest if he reaches the open market, with Amick noting that other teams could get involved.
The Hawks are currently carrying 14 players on their NBA roster, so if they finalize a buyout with Ilyasova, they’d have to eventually sign another player to get back up to that league-mandated minimum.