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Report: Bucks, Ilyasova near agreement on deal


Posted Jul 8 2012 5:45PM - Updated Jul 9 2012 2:28AM

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The Milwaukee Bucks are close to a deal to re-sign free-agent forward Ersan Ilyasova.

"We are engaged in free-agent negotiations with Ersan Ilyasova," Bucks general manager John Hammond said in a statement released Sunday night. "We intend to enter into a player contract with Ersan once the moratorium period has ended."

The 6-foot-10, 235-pound Ilyasova had a breakout season for Milwaukee in 2011-12, averaging 13 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists. He played in 60 games and made 41 starts.

The 25-year-old Turkish player has spent four seasons with the Bucks, with career averages of 9.7 points and six rebounds.

If Ilyasova does return, he'll be part of a suddenly crowded frontcourt. Milwaukee recently made a trade with the Houston Rockets to acquire veteran center Samuel Dalembert, then took North Carolina power forward John Henson with the No. 14 pick in the NBA draft. The addition of Dalembert likely means Drew Gooden will move back to power forward after playing out of position as a center last season, and several other forwards are likely to figure in the Bucks' rotation next season.

Milwaukee went 31-35 last season, finishing third in the Central Division and missing the playoffs. Hammond and coach Scott Skiles will return next season, but both are entering the final year of their contracts with the team.

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