Written by Garrett Catalana – @GarrettCatalana
In a somewhat surprising move, the Sixers have traded third-year forward Jerami Grant to the Oklahoma City Thunder for veteran Ersan Ilyasova and a protected future first round pick.
The first round pick that the Sixers are getting from the Thunder would convey at the earliest in 2020 as a top-20 protected pick, since the Thunder owe the Jazz a lottery-protected 2018 first round pick from the Enes Kanter deal in 2015.
If the Thunder finish 1-20 in 2020, or don’t convey its first round pick to the Jazz in 2018, the Sixers will then receive the Thunder’s second round picks in 2022 and 2023.
With the additions of Ben Simmons and Dario Saric on the frontline, there wasn’t much playing time available for Grant going forward, especially at his best position of power forward once Simmons comes returns from injury. He has one year left on his contract (team option) at the minimum, and then becomes an unrestricted free agency in the summer of 2018.
Ersan Ilyasova is in the final year of a 5-year, $40 million contract he signed with the Bucks in the summer of 2012. He is due $8.4 million this season, and it has been reported that the Sixers intend to keep him as a floor spacer for Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor. By adding his salary, the Sixers keep crawling closer to the salary floor, where they are about $8 million short of it.
Ilyasova is a career 37% three point shooter and he should provide some much-needed outside shooting for a team that’s currently ranked in the bottom-quarter of the NBA in terms of three-point percentage. He is an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season.
While many Sixers fans are sad to see Jerami go, there just wasn’t much of a need for him moving forward and for the team to receive a decent role player and a potential first round pick/two second round picks for a player drafted in the second round (acquired in the Cleveland-Spencer Hawes trade) is decent value.
This trade was impactful both in the short-term and potentially in the long-term. Right now, the Sixers add a quality outside shooter (Ilyasova) while subtracting a poor outside shooter playing at the wrong position (grant), while for the future, the deal provides another asset(s) for Bryan Colangelo’s arsenal.
Bryan Colangelo had this to said about today’s transaction:
“This is a unique deal that allows us to address both short term needs and longer term goals at the same time. Ersan will bring us much needed perimeter shooting, floor spacing and roster balance while the acquisition of a future pick or picks should continue to drive our ability to generate future roster building options.”