The trade for 76ers big man Ersan Ilyasova for injured Tiago Splitter and two 2nd round draft picks got ho hums from most of Atlanta sports talk radio. Looking a little closer though it seems like Atlanta may have made a decent deal.
When the Hawks were reshaping the team for 2016-17 the thought was to pair free agent C Dwight Howard with Horford to give them a potent inside/outside duo of big men that could help them be a factor in the playoffs. When Horford decided to sign with the Boston Celtics it left them without a big man with the versatile scoring punch Horford had.
With Ilyasova they get a player who is similar in size 6’10/235 lbs vs Horford 6’10/245 lbs and style. His stats with Philadelphia are similar to Horford’s with Boston this year. The former 2nd round pick averaged 14.8 pts, 5.9 rebs in 53 games for the 76ers. Horford averages 14.6 pts, 6.6 rebs this year for the Celtics.
Hawks have very little chance to get by the Cavs in the East until Lebron slows down in the next 3-4 years. This move allows to them to remain a playoff contender as they renovate Philips Arena for the 207-18 season. They will continue to strike the balance of having a decent product, while they continue to craft a team that can challenge for a title in 2 or 3 years. New hashtag #Hawks2020
By Jonathan Simmons