Back in the beginning of the season there was a small trade between two teams that had recently squared off in their season open games. Philadelphia 76ers President of Basketball Operations Bryan Colangelo executed a trade for the European veteran Ersan Ilyasova from the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Fans were sad about parting ways with young combo forward Jerami Grant. At the time, however, fans didn’t think that Ersan Ilyasova would explode into the threat he is now.
During the month of December, Ilyasova averaged 16.7 points, 7.6 rebounds, 47.0 field goal percentage, and 40.0 3-point percentage per game.
These stats are pretty impressive considering that he his still adjusting to different teammates, coaches, styles of play, and city. On top of that, he has been switched between the starting five and the bench on a regular basis.
Regardless of how he enters the game, he has put up pretty gaudy stats, but how did they compare to other top power forwards in the association?
Compared to these other top stretch fours, Ilyasova is the most efficient overall shooter. He is the fourth best shooter from 3-point land of the bunch.
It is interesting to note that among all power forwards in the NBA, Ilyasova ranks 7th overall in 3-point percentage. He is tied for third in the league in attempted 3-pointers and fifth in makes per game. Ilyasova is not a lights out rebounded, but the team as a whole is not great at rebounding, so some slack will be given to him in that category.
What does this mean for the Philadelphia 76ers? Well, even though Ersan Ilyasova was not considered a cornerstone piece of this team when he was first trade, now he is nearly indispensable. He will allow potential Rookie of the Year Joel Embiid to continue to develop in space.
Ilyasova will help mentor Dario Saric to become the stretch four of the future for the franchise. On top of all that he gives the team a veteran presences that will help stable the roster, especially with potential trades to come.