So I’ve been watching a bunch of Jonas videos over the last few days and getting a sense of his offensive game. There’s a hook in there, a developing jumper, some back to the basket stuff, but mostly, I get a sense that he’s going to be a big pick ‘n roll guy in his rookie year. The Raptors haven’t had one of those for ages (Davis?), even Chris Bosh elected to pop more than roll on those screens. Given Jonas’ strength, you figure the Raptors need a suitable point guard to run those pick ‘n rolls and honestly, I can’t think of a better available guy (other than Deron Williams) than Jose Calderon to do that. Add in his expiring deal, Casey’s man-love for him, and Jose Calderon is here next season. Follow that up with a smaller, reasonable contract and you’re on your way to the first Raptors lifer. Jersey retired? Of course not, you got to have higher standards and not let emotion get in the way.

I don’t know much about the draft, except that the guy we’re going to get isn’t going to make much of a difference next year so I don’t bother with that stuff, especially not when you’re slotted at #8. I prefer free-agents, they’re a known product and of the products I know at the small forward spot (one which BC agrees needs to be sorted out, and where he’s shown a propensity to fill with a “biggish” guy like Turkoglu and Kleiza), I see someone like Ersan Ilyasova as someone Colangelo can be interested in. Other than having a little of James Franco going for him, he’s also got this according to his outdated ESPN Insider profile:

+ Pick-and-pop big man who can play physical and rebound. Will force shots.

+ Limited leaping ability. Doesn’t block shots and a below-average finisher.

+ Can defend post but struggles to guard perimeter. Good foul shooter.

Ilyasova regressed a bit from his promising 2009-10 campaign, missing 22 games with injury and looking a step slower when he played. He didn’t shoot any worse or better, but he was a lot less active offensively, losing 2.5 points off his 40-minute average. This was the exact opposite of what Milwaukee needed, as it was desperate for anyone who could generate a halfway decent look. The one positive from his season was that he shot a scintillating 89.4 percent from the line.

Defensively, Ilyasova was pretty average. His listed weight (235 pounds) may make him seem like a liability, but he relishes physical play and has no problem banging with bigger players. Plus, he takes tons of charges. Ilyasova’s problem is his lack of athleticism and average mobility, which makes it hard for him to defend the rim and help guards in pick-and-rolls.

I can add that he had his best season last year, one where he started 41 of 60 games and surprised everyone. Contract year performer or a man turning a page?

He was pretty candid about what it’ll take to acquire his services in a recent interview, basically saying that it’s up to the highest bidder.

“When I look at it I have to remember that it’s a business,” said Ilyasova. “Some teams overseas wanted to buyout my contract but I wanted to finish this season in the NBA. This is where I want to be right now, but we will see what happens in the future. Financially, whoever pays me more will be the team that I decide to sign with.”

At least the man’s honest and doesn’t pretend to have an allegiance to a Wisconsin club, which nobody would believe anyway. Bryan Colangelo’s already said that he’s accepted the fact that he’ll have to pay above-market value for free agents, so I can see him splurging money here as well.

One thing’s for sure, this RFA isn’t staying with Bucks as they’ve already got Drew Gooden and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute locked up long-term. To think of it, it’s surprising that the Bucks didn’t ship him off at the deadline.

So, free-agents I predict so far:

– Goran Dragic
– Ersan Ilyasova

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  • WJF

    If he can truly play the 3 I would be all for it. My big concern is that he does not bring any ball handling ability to help out Demar. His shooting is a huge plus though!

  • Andre

    I’m for it as long as we don’t overpay to a ridiculous point ala the other Turk. I’d say a smidgen over what we gave Kapono, which unfortunately may not end up being the highest bid he’ll receive.

  • Nilanka15

    If it’s anything over $6 million per year, no thanks.

    • Jed

      Would you do 5 year $30m?

      • Nilanka15

        As a last resort, sure.  But I wouldn’t spend that free agent cash unless other options are exhausted. 

        There’s a part of me who would rather address the SF hole through the draft (e.g. Perry Jones, or Terrence Jones).

      • Matt52

         The max number of years Toronto can offer is 4.

    • Raps Loyalist

       Ersan is a bigtime player! I realize you probably don’t watch many Bucks games but the guy can easily play PF or SF (and even a bit of center in small ball lineups). He can defend both forward positions really well, hits the glass hard, never complains just plays hard, and can score inside and out.  He is easily worth $10 million a year b/c of his skill/size/age.  He’s only getting better. I’d be fine with BC signing him to 4 years $44 million to be our new SF as long as we got a back-up PG in the draft.

      $6 million a year is Amir money…Ersan is twice the player ($6 million per year for him would be one of the best contracts in the entire NBA..aka no chance of happening)

      • John

        “$6 million a year is Amir money…Ersan is twice the player”

        Not on this place !!! Amir is the man here. The most efficient offensive player in the Team, the best defender in the team, the best rebounder in the team, the heart and soul of the team and … List goes on and on … Just look at how many articles have been written here ( mostly by Tom Liston) paying compliment to Amir.

        By the way, these are the final averages of the year for Amir, Ed,AB and Ersan:

                    MPG      RPG   APG   PPG
        ED        23.2      6.6    0.9    6.3
        Amir     24.3      6.4    1.2    7.1
        AB        33.3      5.5    2       19.5   
        Ersan   27.6       8.8   1.2     13

        You see, it does not make sense to pay Ersan more money than Amir 🙂

        • Raps Loyalist

           Ersan scores twice as much as Amir and gets 2.5 more rebounds a game in 3 more minutes of action.  I’d say he’s better and deserves more money than Amir.

          ps. I like Amir a lot as a player but Ersan can play SF WITH Amir at PF OR PF with Amir at Center in some lineups soooo it’s not like we can’t have both.

          • Sam Holako

            This isn’t even a question; Ersan has proved himself in a shorter period of time. There are no questions about his potential; we’re seeing it.

        • Luca

          You should have put a disclaimer in your post – I’m a homer and overvalue our players – especially Amir.  When you can see this a mile away, it’s not a good trait.

          He should not be a starter but the 1st or 2nd big off the bench. 

      • Nilanka15

        I personally don’t think we need more wing players incapable of dribbling.  Ilyasova isn’t our ‘answer’ at SF.  He’s just a slightly better option than any player we have now.  IMO, he’s not worth overpaying for.

        I don’t mind going after a guy like Batum for $10-11/yr.  He has a lot more upside than Ilyasova.

        As for Amir, yes he’s overpaid.

        • Raps Loyalist

           I like Batum a lot but would disagree that he has more upside than Ersan (it’s about equal they just excel in different areas of the game).  If we’re gonna have AB at PF I would like to see a tough defender and rebounder at SF that can hit the outside shot or score in the post (which compliments Bargs offensive game).  That is Ersan’s description to a T

          I’d be happy if the Raps got either Batum or Ersan but I think Ersan would the better option if they’re getting the same money. 

        • Lorenzo

          I agree, Ersan doesn’t look like a good fit here. Maybe as a sixth man.

  • Triano?

    There is room for another turk on the “do not want” list

  • sleepz

    I like Ilyasova…..for a veteran team………that is a definite playoff squad.

    I am in a bit of disagreement with you regarding a rookie at the #8 spot. Most often I agree that player will not make a difference right away, but on this team, that player could definitely make a difference depending on who they draft. Remember, Demar got picked at #9 and they forced opportunities his way immediately. If another rookie with more talent and polish is given that opportunity they could surprise.

    I don’t understand the FA push that Raptors management seems to want to make now. I’ll wait to see how it plays out but if we know the young talent on this team is not elite, and not even all-star type talent why are they trying to get older as a team? They lost 40+ games this year, and were battling with the dregs of the league at the bottom all year long. They ended up being one of the taller midgets so all of a sudden they are a team on the rise?

    When is the rebuilding going to really start as I’m not sure which direction this franchise is heading in right now.

    A free agent push to assure a couple years of mediocrity to keep it interesting is actually of very little interest to most fans. Should FO not try to be patient and find the right talent and players to make a proper ascension and a sustainable one?

    Interesting off-season.

  • Toshmon

    My SF wish is a Trevor Ariza Trade with (NOH)

    Hes at around 6mill a season & a great defender that can pop the 3. Plus hes from LA.

  • AmusedReader

    LMAO….don’t kill me!

    “+ Pick-and-pop big man who can play physical and rebound. Will force shots.+ Limited leaping ability. Doesn’t block shots and a below-average finisher.+ Can defend post but struggles to guard perimeter. Good foul shooter.Ilyasova regressed a bit from his promising 2009-10 campaign, missing 22 games with injury and looking a step slower when he played. He didn’t shoot any worse or better, but he was a lot less active offensively, losing 2.5 points off his 40-minute average. This was the exact opposite of what Milwaukee needed, as it was desperate for anyone who could generate a halfway decent look. The one positive from his season was that he shot a scintillating 89.4 percent from the line.Defensively, Ilyasova was pretty average. His listed weight (235 pounds) may make him seem like a liability, but he relishes physical play and has no problem banging with bigger players. Plus, he takes tons of charges. Ilyasova’s problem is his lack of athleticism and average mobility, which makes it hard for him to defend the rim and help guards in pick-and-rolls.””“When I look at it I have to remember that it’s a business,” said Ilyasova. “Some teams overseas wanted to buyout my contract but I wanted to finish this season in the NBA. This is where I want to be right now, but we will see what happens in the future. Financially, whoever pays me more will be the team that I decide to sign with.””And we should overpay this guy with that type of write-up?  Don’t kill me. 89.4% at the line does not sell me enough to overpay a guy with mediocre skill set, based off the info provided above. A SF who can’t block shots, playing on a run and gun team? *side eye*

    • minks77

      ESPN always short changes euro players and bigs up guys like Blake “I am the new Vince Carter” Griffin and overhyped AAU/NCAA players.

      • Destro

        They didnt short change him,they said exactly what he is..its YOU bums in this thread making him out to be Pepsi Max when he’s RC Cola…

  • minks77

    I didn’t watch a ton of Milwaukee games (one can only watch so much terrible basketball and I AM a raptors fan after all) but I did have Illy on my fantasy squad so I got a good look at his numbers and the one major issue I can see is consistency. His high end is all NBA level numbers, (25 and 16 and 2 blocks wasn’t totally random) but he’ll follow a 2 or 3 game stretch of 17+/10+ with a 4pt 3r game. The talent is definitely there but that inconsistency is cause for concern: is he inconsistent because he’s pushing it in a contract year and punching above his weight or is it due to his inconsistent role up until Bynum got hurt? 

    Of the games I did watch he seemed to be one of those guys you don’t notice too much until you see a stat line. His game just doesn’t jump off the page at you but it it very effective.

    • c_bcm

       You mean Bogut?

      • minks77

        haha, yeah, bynum, d’uh!

  • dribbles

    I like the guy, but he’s a stretch 4 from what I gather, and he had a career season playing that position. Again, it’s how the pieces fit together. Maybe he can play the 3 on a team with other guys who can create off the dribble, but picturing him next to DeMar and Jose? Can he defend opposing 3s? Who’s the starting frontcourt next season? Ilyasova, Bargs and Gray?

    This guy has a motor, rebounds, can shoot, and is 25, so I can see the Raps taking a long look at him. Unless other pieces move though, I don’t see the fit.

  • 2damkule

    does it change anything if we strip away the nationality aspect?  if we just look at what he’s done in his career (not just this year, but the whole body of work), taking into consideration his age/experience, physical abilities/attributes, and disregard his appearance/foreign name/looks…does he become more appealing?

    IMO, he’s a step down defensively from JJ, about on par with kleiza (but offers more flexibility in terms of match-ups), but with much more upside offensively & on the boards.  the question, really, is whether he’s THAT much of an upgrade over a potential draft pick (say, if barnes slips to 8-ish – which, btw, is not happening…his stock will rise once workouts start, and he’ll be top-5 (at worst) by draft day), that it’s worth investing a considerable amount of $$ in him vs. investing a much lower amount in a pick.

  • Statement

    Why can’t the Raptors find diamonds in the rough like Danny Green.

    Jeez, we have to overpay for the Ilyasova’s of the world instead of being smart and picking up Green-type players who offer similar production.

    Freaking frustrating.

    • c_bcm

      yeah…Granger was draft #17 overall…that’d be nice too.

    • John

      Danny Green, Pekovic,… the list goes on and on 
      But to find these diamonds in the rough, you have to have the GM which knows what he is doing.

      So far the best diamond that BC has found is Jemario Moon and his resume is highlighted with his free agent signing of the likes of Kapano and Hedo 🙂

      • Lorenzo

        Jamario Moon plays in the D-league…

        • HitItHardFromTheBack

          J.Moon was wack AF doe…. BC found some diamonds when he be with Phoenix—Gortat, Barbosa etc. Here he just findin em rhinestones…

          • 2damkule

            uh…BC did find quite a few ‘diamonds’ (i.e. he made a fair number of solid moves – drafting stat, trading for joe johnson, then turning him into diaw, signing nash), but gortat?  not that he wasn’t a great pick-up, but BC had been in TO for years when Phx got him.

            • Theswirsky

              I think whats often overlooked with BC is their is a difference between his tenure in Toronto and Phoenix

              In Phoenix he had a significantly more attractive market place and his father’s influence.  That not only applies to advice on players, but on staff.  (whether that be scouts or trainers or whatever) 

              In Toronto there is a less attractive market place and BC’s staff is all his.

              So I’m not sure that, what will now be 7 years later, we should be pointing out what BC did in Phoenix as evidence of his quality as a GM for Toronto going forward

              With all that said, he has found more than a few diamonds in the rough in Toronto.  Garbo, Parker, Amir, JJ.  They may not be Jeremy Lin’s or Pekovic’s, but still useful players.  But I’m sure we can find this with almost every GM (not named Joe Dumars or Michael Jordan ofcourse)

              BC’s biggest issue since arriving in Toronto has been the bigger decisions.  O’neal, Marion,  Hedo, Bosh, Bargnani, Jose, Demar, Triano.  He’s flopped on alot of the major choices he’s had to make.  And when its all said and done its those major decisions that make or break a team.  Thankfully Casey and Jonas look like a change to the positive, but as the saying goes even a broken clock is right twice a day.  I have little faith he’ll keep it up.

            • HitItHardFromTheBack

              Thats what I be sayin…I said he found em diamonds in PHX doe…he drafted Gortat in 2005 doe, before he came to TO (06).  You notice I put “etc.” at the end of my post to reflect other moves. Man get yo shit together and stop with those wack ass comments smh.

              • 2damkule

                ok…fair enough.  though, i’m not sure how the fact that BC drafted him, and then immediately traded him for essentially nothing (gortat never actually played for phx until they reacquired him in ’10), is a sign of BC’s efficacy as a GM.  to me, the drafting of gortat is similar to other picks that were made by phx during the sarver era that were immediately traded for cash.

                • HitItHardFromTheBack

                  Naw doe I just sayin he had better luck findin em diamonds in PHX than he did here in TO. Mike Finley 21st, S.Jackson 43rd, Nash 15th, Marion 9th, Amare 9th, traded for rights to Barbosa. The dude been in the business for almost 20 years so he bound to run into some good shit along the way, I ain’t endorsin him if that’s what ya thinkin cuz he had many wack ass moves as well, espec. here in TO.

                • Destro

                  and all this being said his body of work never amounted to 1 single NBA Finals game…


                • HitItHardFromTheBack

                  Real talk…Like I been sayin, the dude wack AF as a GM, but on a real there a lot of good GMs out there that haven’t made a finals appearance..ex. Sam Presti, Larry Bird. But I don’t think they been in the business long as BC so it don’t matter.

                • Destro

                  Neither of them had half the talent the 05-07 Suns teams had either…..

  • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

    BC is MOST LIKELY going to blow all that cap space (over pay for both EI & GD) that he preached to the fan base about while POSSIBLY trading away the 2012 Lottery pick in the process.lmfao

    I like EI’s game but he’s a Kleiza clone- combo forward that’s more 4 than 3 plus a front line of Val (Gray?), AB & EI will get killed over 82 games especially in transition D and on the boards.

    Goran Dragic I can get with as long as Jose is move out in that scenario.

    BC’s Euro/International vision for Raptors basketball sucks……

    • TheR3dMenace

      Ilyasova shot it almost 11% better from 3 than Kleiza. That is substantial. 

      • Destro

        11 % better than a bum is nothing worth mentioning…

    • NyAlesund

       I don’t think that Ilyasova is a Kleiza clone. The turkish fella is more talented than him. Also he has major offensive skills and defensively is more effective.

      So, for me Ilyasova for Klieza would be perfect.

      Dragic. Yes, he is european but really good. I would sign him tomorrow.

  • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

    As well BC’s talking media heads have been planting the EI (and GD) seed in the collective fan base mentality since late in the season as per a BC memo……

  • Thornbury

    Completely agree with you about Ersan. I would love to see him in T.O. Next season and don’t mind paying a little more for him. I am surprised to see all the anti-Ersan comments. You know what you are getting. I have thinking since last season he is a Colangelo kind of guy, but is he a Casey kind of guy? I think he could be. Scrappy, physical, no BS kind of player. There is no other FA out there that we could realistically land that is better in the forward position. Good call Arse. Where is the podcast? Around draft time?

  • Guest

    I disagree that Ilyasova is the the right option for the raptors. If they bring Jonas off the bench they will need to pair him with a small forward that will space teh floor to help him operate. Ryan Anderson from Orlando is a much better option in this scenario to play along Jonas and even replace Barganani in the starting lineup if he gets injured. The question is if Anderson will accept coming off the bench and how much money will it take to sign him.

  • HitItHardFromTheBack

    I ain’t 100% against signin Ersan it but it be all bout the draft for me. Best believe it this cat be tough as nails just ain’t sure he can mesh with this team, if AB’s ass is shipped we can go after him straight up, and draft a legit SF like my boy HB who some of yall been sleepin on, watch out for PJ3 too, he be on that SF ish too, dude can fill it up forreal. On a real believe me when I say them Raps be usin that draft pick and ain’t tradin it, they be gettin a good player, and he gon be the shit while the rest of em just smell. And i be out…[]Deace.

    • JamieBoyz

      Sounds like you been whacked in the back.. of yer head by yo’ daddy.  No US homie gonna cum to TO caus TO stinks.  Wanna bet dat yo’ man demarz wanna go bak home an play fo’ sum statesside team an not fer  cananda.

      • Destro

        Stop it Timmy you know your mother doesnt like when you pretend to be malibu’s most wanted…

      • HitItHardFromTheBack

        Man fk you.

  • Guest

    I can totally see BC screwing up all the cap space he has with players that don’t fit the system. Just look at Joe Dumars.

    • Destro

      Joe Dumars at least won a title….

  • ad

    Why do we always go for the euros? Not that Ilyasova and dragic are bad players but i find it interesting that the only players linked to the raps are euro. I guess its because of BC and maurizaio and the fact that american players are fucking ignorant and dont want to play here. BTW, Dragic wouldnt make much sense if jose is coming back. I’d rather have bayless who isnt significantly worse and is going to be likely cheaper. The raps biggest positional needs is SF for sure. I wouldnt mind an upgrade at pg but not sure dragic is the right guy.

  • FAQ

    Ersan and Goran could find a home in Toronto with the Raptors… and then BC could trade the useless first round draft pick for another player with NBA experience.

    Who do you think BC should target with the Toronto draft pick?  I bet BC is even now shopping the draft pick with several teams.

    I for one am sick and tired of all that perpetual “development” shit that we have been watching for the past several reasons …. and so was Bosh.

    Even if the Raptors could make it to 8th place in the Eastern Conference, they would be quickly demolished by the first place team.

    If Ersan and Goran came, that would just further bleach the Raptors..!!!

    • Destro

      They wont make the playoffs with thos additions….they’d still get nukked by the Kings and Wizards in the reg season…

  • CanadianPaul

    With a 20.8 PER, Ersan would lead the current Raptors roster. We need extra shooters? How about .455 from 3? And he’s only 24 and about to get even better.

    $8-10M would be about the going rate.

    • John

      This is what it takes to get Ersan to come to Toronto:
      5 year deal worth of 50 million …
      1st year 8, 2nd year 9, 3rd year 10, 4th year 11, 5th year 12

  • Andre

    i cannot agree with this. He doesnt fit the what casey is teaching defensively. even though we need scoring from the wings, defense wins games. Id much rather see gerald wallace in there instead of Ersan. To your draft comment, thats just ignorant.  When studing this draft, it is so deep with multiple rotation players that even at the 8th pick its like picking top five.  Players like Perry jones and Harrison barnes could drop to the 8th spot. To say none of the rookies would make an impact is not correct. Scouts are paid money to figure this out. Trust me, they can fill they’re wing needs AND PG needs in this draft. hopefully they can either move up or get a second pick in the first round. Caulderon needs to be traded. As much as i love him, his return is EXTREMELY high. Houston, boston, lakers, the list goes on. EVEN memphis needs a pass first PG at cauldron level. Its time to cut ties and move on to the future. Also, we need to move on from amir. theres a reason detroit moved on without him.

    • 2damkule

      holy shit.

    • minks77

      First of all it’s CALderon not CAULderon. Secondly it’s fairly ignorant to call someone ignorant and then project your opinions about the future ability of this draft class like you had a crystal ball. Secondly, your list of teams that would so readily pay a high price to get José is a joke. Houston? Lowry. Boston? Rondo and AB. Lakers? Sessions and Blake. Memphis? Mike Conley. All those teams have pass first PGs. LAL will be able to resign RS to less money than Jose and on the rest of the teams JC would be a backup.

      Detroit decided to go with Maxiell over Amir. Workin out great huh?

      But really this is about Ersan. According to your POV he’s a no go because he doesn’t fit DC’s defensive philosophy right? Kinda like Andrea, Demar and Jose don’t fit it? Be careful about getting caught up in clichés. Defence helps win chips but the point of the game is to put a ball through a hoop more often than the opposing team. Defence will bail you out and give you more chances when the jumper is off but if you can’t score you won’t win. The Bulls/Sixers series is a good example of this. Chi town is sticking around with their defence but if Philly wasn’t so inept offensively this’d of been over in 5 and Philly would be getting ready for round 2 already. 

      Illy at 8-9mill/ is good value and you can bank on the results he’d produce while a pick is akin to stepping up to the craps table.

  • Nilanka15

    We have to remind ourselves that Ilyasova’s numbers could be inflated due to last year being a contract year.  And he’s already said publicly he’s chasing the money.  IMO, whoever signs this guy should embrace himself for a colossal let down.

    • minks77

      I agree with the red flag due to a contract year but anyone who says they sign somewhere for anything other than the money is either a liar or a fool. I know LBJ signed for less but he’s the exception rather than the rule.

  • Bendit

    For all the GMs here (erstwhile or otherwise), Ilyasova plays primarily the PF position with the Bucks. He may slide over to SF but this is rare. 

    • minks77

      I think it’s safer to say he’s another Forward (like Andrea, Amir etc). They play a “big” position but aren’t true Power Forwards or Centres. Frontcourt tweeners. The best of Illy is a better rebounding (much, much better) Andrea with a similar scoring skill set, unfortunately his inconsistency is very alarming.

  • rapsallday

    What kind of name is “HitItHardFromTheBack”??? I mean, really bro???

  • Destro

    10 mil a year for this guy LMAO Rap fans love being losers….