There has been considerable speculation that the Hawks will look into possible buyout options with forward Ersan Ilyasova, and rightfully so. Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweeted as much shortly after the trade deadline.
At this point, however, the parties haven’t discussed such an arrangement. Hours after that initial tweet, Cunningham tweeted that Ilyasova himself isn’t looking for a buyout, so long as the team is playing to win games. On Friday, Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution chipped in with a note that the 30-year-old hasn’t been approached about one either.
Ilyasova, who signed a one-year, $6MM deal with the club in the offseason, has averaged 10.6 points and 5.4 rebounds per game for the Hawks. He’d be a valuable addition to any contender looking to add versatile frontcourt depth heading into the final stretch of the season.
A testament to Ilyasova’s value is the fact that, as Cunningham mentioned in one of his aforementioned tweets, the team did have trade offers for him — he simply invoked his right to reject them.
There’s more out of Atlanta:
- Forward DeAndre’ Bembry was arrested for driving 128 miles per hour in a 55 zone, potentially racing, Lauren Foreman of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes. In 18 games with the Hawks this season, Bembry has averaged 4.8 points.
- First-year general manager Travis Schlenk is eager to preserve cap flexibility with the hopes of, potentially, using that to absorb salaries in trades from teams looking to shed money, Michael Cunningham of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes.
- The key beneficiary of the Marco Belinelli buyout will be rookie Tyler Dorsey, Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes. Dorsey has averaged 4.3 points per game in just 11.3 minutes of action but has hit double digits in all three of the games in which he cracked the 20-minute plateau.