NBA Trade Grades: 76ers Ship Off Ersan Ilyasova To Hawks
The Process lives on for the Philadelphia 76ers, as they have agreed to send Ersan Ilyasov to the Atlanta Hawks for Tiago Splitte and picks. Here are the NBA Trade Grades for the deal.
Not every deal can be a blockbuster move leading up to the 2017 NBA Trade Deadline, but even the minor moves have been entertaining so far.
Woj notes that the Hawks are sending their 2017 second-rounder (via Miami) in the deal, while they will swap their own second-rounder with the Sixers. The second-rounder from the Heat is protected from 31-40, and will become a second round pick in 2018 if it is not conveyed this year.
2017 2nd round pick
2017 2nd round pick
2017 2nd round pick (via Heat)
With the Hawks bracing for another trip to the playoffs and the Sixers shipping away their leading scorer (among qualified players) and a useful stretch-4, how did both sides fare in this deal?
To sort it all out, here’s a look at some new NBA Trade Grades.
Earlier on Wednesday, Hawks general manager Wes Wilcox reaffirmed that Paul Millsap would not be traded, that re-signing him was the team’s No. 1 priority over the summer and that Atlanta would be entering the 2017 NBA Trade Deadline as buyers.
Wilcox was true to his word just hours later, but whether or not this is the right course of action for a franchise perpetually doomed to Good But Not Great territory remains to be seen.
In a vacuum, this is something of a winning deal. Splitter had been a massive disappointment since joining the team, playing a grand total of 36 games in a Hawks uniform (all of which came in 2015-16) because of injury problems. He hasn’t played a single game this season because of calf and hip injuries and last year, he only averaged 5.6 points and 3.3 rebounds per game anyway.
Tiago Splitter played in 36 regular-season games and 0 playoff games for the Hawks.
— KL Chouinard (@KLChouinard) February 23, 2017
Losing Splitter doesn’t hurt in the slightest, and rather than just let his $8.5 million salary come off the books this summer, the Hawks were able to turn his useless contract into a stretch-4 who could actually help them in the playoffs this year.
Ilyasova did a tremendous job revitalizing his value in Philly, averaging 14.8 points and 5.9 rebounds per game on 35.9 percent shooting from three-point range in his 53 appearances for the Sixers.
Mike Budenholzer’s squad will enjoy his perimeter shooting off the bench, especially since they rank 25th in three-point percentage (34.1 percent). They’re only 0.5 games out of home-court advantage in the playoffs as well.
Nice move for the Hawks getting Ilyasova. They have needed a stretch 4.
— KL Chouinard (@KLChouinard) February 23, 2017
However, as much as giving up two second-rounders seems harmless, one has to wonder if the Hawks are going about this trade deadline the right way.
They’ve been mired in mediocrity for pretty much every season over the last decade except 2014-15 — good enough to make the playoffs, but not great enough to actually do anything while they’re there.
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That doesn’t figure to change this year, with the Celtics and Wizards on the rise and the Raptors snagged a game-changing power forward in Serge Ibaka. Washington helped its bench out by trading for Bojan Bogdanovic and the Celtics are still poised to make a blockbuster move.
While there’s something refreshing — especially after the DeMarcus Cousins debacle — about Atlanta’s loyalty and commitment to Millsap, the Hawks are likely looking at overpaying for a 32-year-old free agent this summer as the centerpiece of a core that probably won’t challenge Cleveland, Boston, Toronto or Washington in the East.
Splitter was useless and losing those two second-rounders doesn’t hurt much, but even if the trade is a good one without context, the bigger picture makes one wonder how exactly the Hawks plan on improving moving forward — especially with Ilyasova coming off the books this summer and not moving the needle enough to change Atlanta’s playoff fate this year anyway.
Forget about Tiago Splitter, because it would be unlikely for him to ever play for the Sixers even if he wasn’t currently injured. He’s 32, he’s an unrestricted free agent this summer and he wasn’t good the last time we saw him take the floor anyway.
Whether or not the 76ers manage to trade Jahlil Okafor, there’d still be a center logjam with Splitter joining the party, so he’s pretty much a non-factor here.
The #sixers have not decided on whether they will retain Tiago Splitter, according to a league source.
— Derek Bodner (@DerekBodnerNBA) February 23, 2017
Either way, the first major asset here (with the word “major” being loosely defined) is the two first round picks.
One will be a 2017 second-rounder from the Miami Heat (protected 31-40), while the Sixers have agreed to swap their 2017 pick, which will ultimately be via the Golden State Warriors’ second-rounder heading to Atlanta.
Two second-rounders for a 29-year-old stretch-4 isn’t the most overwhelming return, even if he is an expiring contract, but the best part about this trade isn’t anything the Sixers are actually getting. No, the real beauty of this trade is that it clears out minutes for the Homie.
Over the last few weeks, rookie Dario Saric has been playing some great basketball for the 76ers. He’s only averaging 10.8 points and 5.9 rebounds per game on ugly .397/.327/.784 shooting splits for the season, but over his last 14 games, those numbers have jumped to 15.1 points and 6.1 rebounds per game on .457/.274/.795 shooting splits.
With the Homie making such a significant impact off the bench and playing so well in extended minutes, the Sixers were able to clear out Ilyasova and free up more minutes for their promising rookie.
Though Ilyasova was a big part of the Sixers’ midseason turnaround, he was an unrestricted free agent this summer. Philadelphia was wise to avoid overpaying to re-sign him and instead, managed to turn him into some kind of draft assets before his $8.4 million deal. This trade isn’t unfair to Ilyasova either, since he gets to join a playoff team again.
It’s not the sexiest deal the Sixers have managed to pull off in recent years, but The Process is alive and well. With Embiid and Ben Simmons still injured, trading the team’s leading scorer helps back the tank up for a higher 2017 draft pick, frees up some minutes for the young Saric and nets two additional second-rounders. Is there anything more Sam Hinkie than that?
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