Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/11/12
Nba_bucks_vs_7807

This time it just wasn't lip service.

There have been instances in recent years when Milwaukee Bucks officials have publicly stated how they wanted to retain some of their free agents, only to let them walk anyway.

Cases in point: guard Ramon Sessions, who signed with the Timberwolves in 2009, and forward Charlie Villanueva, who signed with the Pistons, also in 2009.

But the Bucks said they wanted to keep Ersan Ilyasova, and they did. They even went the extra mile to make sure the 25-year-old power forward would stay in a Bucks uni.

After Milwaukee offered Ilyasova a guaranteed five-year, $35 million offer, Tolga Tugsavul, one of Ilyasova's representatives, told The Racine (Wis.) Journal Times, "We're looking for a better offer."

A few days later, Ilyasova got an even better offer from the Bucks, one he simply couldn't refuse: five years for $45 million.

Ilyasova, who received keen interest from several teams including the Spurs, Nets and Cavaliers, will be paid $9 million next season. He will thus become the second-highest paid player on the Bucks' roster. Only guard Monta Ellis, who'll collect $11 million, will be paid more than Ilyasova.

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