Ersan Ilyasova Trade: 3 Main Takeaways

Ersan Ilyasova is headed to his sixth team in the last 20 months after being traded by the Sixers to the Hawks Wednesday night for Tiago Splitter and two second-round picks.

"To be traded, it sucks," Ilyasova told CSN Philly two weeks ago. "Middle of the season, you have to kinda readjust your whole game."

Since June 2015, Ilyasova has been traded from the Bucks to the Pistons to the Magic to the Thunder to the Sixers to the Hawks.

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Here are three takeaways on the trade:

Big picture
Going back to the Jerami Grant trade that netted the Sixers Ilyasova, Bryan Colangelo turned Grant into a first-round pick and two second-round picks. Not bad.

Grant is an energetic player who can block shots and play defense, but he's a poor outside shooter and was a redundancy on this Sixers team.

With Ilyasova, the Sixers identified the type of stretch-four who best fits alongside Joel Embiid. 

The first-round pick the Sixers acquired in the Grant-Ilyasova deal is the Thunder's top-20 protected pick in 2020. If it doesn't convey then, it turns into second-round picks in 2022 and 2023.

So the end result could be the Sixers gave up Grant for a few months of Ilyasova and four second-round picks - four chances to draft a player better than Grant.

Dario's time
Obviously, the Ilyasova trade means more playing time for Dario Saric. 

As Ilyasova has slumped in February, Saric has excelled. Over his last six games, Saric has averaged 19.3 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists, shooting 51 percent from the field, 34 percent from three and making 12 of 13 free throws.

Saric averaged 27.8 minutes in those games, and two of his highest-minute games have come in the last three weeks. 

Expect to see him on the court for around 34 minutes per game the rest of the season.

See you soon?
Ilyasova was well-liked in the Sixers' locker room, as evidenced by comments from Sixers players after the trade went down.

As mentioned previously, Ilyasova showed the Sixers what kind of stretch-four fits next to Embiid - someone with size who can rebound and knock down threes. Ilyasova did slump in February, but he had some very impressive games with the Sixers, scoring more than 20 points 12 times. He had 15 or more points in 23 of 53 games with the Sixers.

If the Sixers liked Ilyasova enough, if the price is right in free agency and if Ilyasova is willing to accept a backup role, perhaps he and the Sixers reunite this offseason.

"I'm really looking forward kinda to just being in one place, maybe a while," Ilyasova said on Feb. 8. "... Just one place for me and my family, not having to move from one place to another.

"I think this opportunity (with the Sixers) is really great for me, as far as being in a consistent role in what I'm doing here, and hopefully you know, we'll see what it's going to be for next year."

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