Found July 12, 2012 on Fox Sports Wisconsin:
ST. FRANCIS, Wis. Milwaukee Bucks general manager John Hammond made it clear early in the free agent process that their primary goal was to re-sign forward Ersan Ilyasova, who had completed a banner year in 2012 that included being named as one of the NBA's most improved players. And on Thursday afternoon, as the team announced that it would indeed bring back its efficient stretch forward, it was clear that Ilyasova had felt from the beginning that Milwaukee was where he had hoped to end up. "I think it's the best decision to make to come back to the Milwaukee Bucks because I was really comfortable," Ilyasova said. "I was really comfortable with it and my family was as well." Ilyasova's agent, Justin Zanik, reflected the same sentiment went asked whether the Bucks were the leader in the clubhouse from the beginning for his client's services. "As long as that want was reciprocated, certainly Ersan had performed at an extremely high level and there's an extreme amount of interest," Zanik said. "You never want to be in a place that doesn't want to communicate that with you. Of course, all things being equal, absolutely." Although the specifics of the deal were not announced by the Bucks, early reports peg the contract at five years for 45 million, making Ilyasova the team's second-highest paid player, behind guard Monta Ellis. There was some belief that the deal will include a team option for the fifth year, but that information has yet to be confirmed. In 41 starts and 60 games last season, Ilyasova averaged 13.0 points per game, 8.8 rebounds per game, and shot 49 percent from the floor. He also ended the season as the NBA's second-best 3-point shooter based on percentage (45.5 percent). Aside from the Bucks, the Brooklyn Nets had seemingly shown the most interest in signing Ilyasova to a long-term deal. But in the end, the former second-round pick in the 2005 NBA Draft, decided to stay in the city where he had started his career, met his wife, and raised his children. "When it come up with the Milwaukee Bucks, I was really happy," Ilyasova said. "I started my NBA career with the Bucks and I'm really comfortable with the city. It's always going to be a hometown for me. It was not a really big decision between just stay here or go to a different team. It was really clear for me." With the stricter cap rules in the new CBA, a long-term contract can be a big risk for an NBA franchiseespecially one that has toiled on the fringe of the NBA playoffs for several seasons. But Hammond said on Thursday that they believe Ilyasova is a risk worth betting on. "This is a good day for the Milwaukee Bucks," Hammond said. "For us, we're really excited to have Ersan as a long-term piece in our organization as we move forward. In this process, you're kind of banking on something, and I think if you say there's a risk in what you're doing, we think a guy like Ersan is as safe of as a risk as we can possibly have." And Bucks coach Scott Skiles reflected the same sentiment, explaining that Ilyasova has already shown a motivation to prove he's worth what his new contract says he is. "You either take a deep breath and say, Ah, I made it, I got my big contract' or you feel a burden, a responsibility to perform," Skiles said. "He's already verbalized that, and it's not surprising that he did. That's what you're hoping for. As much as he's comfortable being here, we're comfortable with him." Beyond future salary cap implications, Ilyasova's signing is a clear message that the Bucks believe the Turkish forward is going to be a significant part of their future plans. When asked if Ilyasova is expected to be a cornerstone of the Bucks' franchise, Hammond said that he had already proven as much with his breakout 2012 season. "He's already proven that," Hammond said. "You look at production during the course of the season and Ersan was one of our most productive players. We expect him to be that." Added Zanik: "With the length and size of the contract, they've made a very large commitment to him. And he's made a very large commitment to them. From a production standpoint, he's proven it, and he's got some equity here. They've got equity in him; he's got equity in them." Follow Ryan Kartje on Twitter.

Big money convinces Ilyasova to remain in Milwaukee

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...

Another Team Signs Kwame Brown? Sixers Sign The “BIG BUST” To Two-Year Deal

Do you want living proof that the old saying “There’s A Sucker Born Every Minute” is the “FRICKIN GOSPEL“? Then let New York Vinnie introduce you to the “FRICKIN BIG BUST” center Kwame Brown, the true “EL PUD SUPREMO” of the NBA Draft. Brown could be the “LUCKIEST FRICKIN GUY TO EVER WALK THE PLANET” because not only was he taken with the first pick in the 2001...

Brown, 76ers agree to two-year deal

Free agent center Kwame Brown signed a two-year, $6 million deal with the Philadelphia 76ers first reported by Yahoo Sports. Brown made $6.75 million as a member of the Warriors last season. He played in just nine games before he tore his pectoralis major -- the largest muscle in the chest which attaches to the shoulder -- and had surgery in January. In 11 pro seasons, Brown...

Kwame Brown Signs Two-Year, $6M Deal With Sixers

Kwame Brown has agreed to a two-year, $6 million deal with the Sixers.

Sixers Sign Kwame Brown

Today, according to a few sources, the Sixers have signed Kwame Brown. The deal is set to be a one year deal, with a player option for a second year. The deal is worth $6 million. The 6'11 center, only played nine games last year due to season ending Chest surgery. In those 9 games with the Golden State Warriors, he posted 6.3 points a game, as well as 6.3 rebounds per game.
NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.