AP Source: Bucks near deal to keep Ilyasova

Associated Press  |  Last updated July 08, 2012
The Milwaukee Bucks are close to a deal with free-agent forward Ersan Ilyasova, according to a person with direct knowledge of the negotiations. The person spoke to The Associated Press on Sunday on condition of anonymity because the deal had not been completed. Multiple media reports earlier in the day indicated the sides were close to a contract. The 6-foot-10, 235-pound Ilyasova had a breakout season for Milwaukee in 2011-12, averaging 13 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game. He played in 60 games and made 41 starts last season. The 25-year-old native of Turkey has played four seasons with the Bucks, with career averages of 9.7 points and six rebounds per game. He joins what is suddenly a crowded Bucks frontcourt. Milwaukee recently made a trade with the Houston Rockets to acquire veteran center Samuel Dalembert, then took North Carolina power forward John Henson with the No. 14 pick in the NBA draft. The addition of Dalembert likely means Drew Gooden will move back to power forward after playing out of position as a center last season, and several other forwards are likely to figure in the Bucks' rotation next season. Milwaukee went 31-35 last season, finishing third in the Central Division and missing the playoffs. Coach Scott Skiles and general manager John Hammond will return next season, but both are entering the final year of their contracts with the team.
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