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Sunday, July 8, 2012
Ersan Ilyasova, Bucks close to deal

ESPN.com news services

The Milwaukee Bucks are close to a deal with 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."

Ilyasova's agent, Tolga Tugsavul, told basketball website HoopsHype.com that the four-year veteran is on the verge of agreeing to a five-year deal worth $45 million.

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 per game. He played in 60 games and made 41 starts last season.

The 25-year-old native of Turkey has played four seasons with the Bucks, with career averages of 9.7 points and six rebounds per game.

He is set to join what is suddenly a crowded Bucks 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.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.