The Milwaukee Bucks traded away forward-center Ersan Ilyasova on Thursday to open up some cap space in the 2015 offseason and will be active buyers in the trade or free agent market, according to a report. Marc Stein of ESPN.com claims that the Bucks’ trade of Ilyasova will allow the team to chase Tyson Chandler of the Dallas Mavericks via free agency or Brook Lopez of the Brooklyn Nets via a trade or free agency.
Both big men have a connection to Bucks head coach Jason Kidd. Chandler was a former teammate of Kidd with the New York Knicks and Mavericks while Kidd coached Lopez in Brooklyn.
Earlier on Thursday, Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Bucks had traded Ilyasova to the Detroit Pistons for Caron Butler and Shawne Williams, both of whom will see their contracts expire after the 2015-16 season. The move can potentially give Milwaukee an additional $23 million in salary cap space, which could be enough to acquire either Lopez or Chandler.
Lopez can choose to explore free agency this offseason and look for a long-term contract if he decides not to pick up the player option worth $16.7 million for the 2015-16 season with the Nets. Meanwhile, Chandler is an unrestricted free agent and the Mavericks will lose him, with nothing in return, if he chooses to sign with another team.