Trades during the NBA Finals certainly don’t happen very often, so this is an interesting surprise:
Milwaukee has traded forward Ersan Ilyasova to Detroit for Caron Butler and Shawne Williams, league sources tell Yahoo.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) June 11, 2015
For the Bucks, this is a straight salary dump in order to clear more cap space to re-sign coveted restricted free agent Khris Middleton and also have room left over for another free agent or two once that happens. Ersan Ilyasova is owed $7.9 million next year, while Caron Butler‘s $4.5 million contract for next season is non-guaranteed, as is Shawne Williams‘s $1.36 million deal. The Bucks can waive those two and open up a good amount of space:
The Pistons make out like bandits in this trade if all they’re giving up is two expendable players in Butler and Williams. Ilyasova is an ideal stretch 4 for Stan Van Gundy’s system (shot 38.9 percent from three this season), and he’ll likely be plugged in the starting lineup with Greg Monroe now all-but-certain to go elsewhere. The New York Knicks are considered the likeliest destination for Monroe, although nothing is guaranteed.
Detroit will still have plenty of cap space this summer even with Ilyasova and the possible return of restricted free agent Reggie Jackson, so Van Gundy’s going to be busy looking to improve the roster.