Ersan Ilyasova becomes the newest member of the Milwaukee Bucks, however, his addition could spell the end for former top draft pick Jabari Parker. Ilyasova is signing with the Bucks to the tune of a three-year, $21 million deal, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. It comes across as a small move by the Milwaukee Bucks, however, it is a big move in the grand scheme of things.
The Milwaukee Bucks are a small market NBA team that is over the salary cap. Acquiring Ersan Ilyasova was a wise move for various reasons that will help the Bucks down the line. Ilyasova’s addition gives the Bucks a veteran presence, while offering some much-needed versatility. His status on the team, however, should render Jabari Parker unnecessary.
Jabari Parker is a restricted free agent this summer. It has become apparent that the Milwaukee Bucks will allow Parker to test the market before submitting an offer to him. Parker will look to command a multi-year deal in the range of $17 million or more per season.
According to Clutch Points, there are eight teams looking at signing Jabari Parker. If a team gives Parker a significant offer sheet, it would place the Bucks in a difficult spot going forward. The Bucks reserve the right to match any offer Jabari Parker receives. Depending on the offer, the Bucks could be hurt financially.
The Bucks went into this offseason nearly $2.5 million over the salary cap. Keeping Jabari Parker will push the Bucks even further over the cap and closer to the luxury tax threshold.
It is possible that the Bucks used their mid-level exception to sign Ersan Ilyasova. Employing the mid-level exception would mean that his addition would not count toward the dreaded luxury tax. That could give Bucks’ fans a glimmer of hope when it comes to retaining Jabari Parker.
For as talented as Jabari Parker is, his injury history is enough to give the Bucks pause. On the other hand the Bucks know what they are getting with the Ersan Ilyasova.
For Ilyasova, it is a return to the first NBA franchise he played for. Ilyasova was with the Milwaukee for seven seasons before becoming a journeyman of sorts. Ilyasova’s value to the Bucks will be different this time around, as the NBA has changed since he last played in Milwaukee.
Out are traditional NBA positions and in are frontcourt players who play like guards. Many will argue that Ersan Ilyasova was ahead of his time when he first starred for the Milwaukee Bucks. Ilyasova is still effective today.
Ersan Ilyasova will bring his versatility back to the Milwaukee Bucks as a possible starter. What happens to Jabari Parker, the player he has likely replaced, remains to be seen.