Saturday, June 30, 2007

Saturday Bucks Notes

  • Charles Gardner reports Fenerbahce Ulker has made Ersan Ilyasova an offer of $7.5 million over three years. One thing that isn't mentioned in the article is whether the deal is net of taxes; it's common practice for European teams to pay a player's taxes, which would make it far more valuable than a pre-tax deal of the same value in the NBA. It sounds like Ersan wants to stay in the NBA, but it looks like it will cost the Bucks to keep him, most likely something in the ballpark of $4 million per.
  • The latest on the Yi situation is that Larry Harris will try to meet with him in the next week or so. Yi is playing with the Chinese national team in the Dallas and Vegas summer leagues, though the Bucks team in the Vegas league will not be playing the Chinese.
  • Who said Milwaukee doesn't have connections to China? The Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce's China Council is hoping to sponsor a group of teenage Chinese basketball players. Can you guess who they want to get involved?
  • Del Harris, former Bucks and Chinese National Team coach, was interviewed on WSSP and it was a very interesting discussion in light of the rumors floating around about Yi (listen to the mp3):
    • Harris discovered Yi in 2004 and not only put him on the national team but started him in the Olympics in Athens.
    • Del provided his insight to a number of teams interested in Yi, not just his son. He also only coached him in 2004 and has not seen him play in 06/07.
    • He's adamant that the dispute over where Yi will play is being driven by agent Dan Fegan and the Guangdong owner, who also still has a financial interest in him. Del notes that because agents make 4% or less on contracts but 20% or more on endorsements, Yi's advisers have a huge personal interest in getting him to a large market. He terms Yi "one of the nicest kids in the world."
    • He also notes that the Chinese government is far less involved in basketball than many have come to believe. He says players choose their agents themselves and that he had wanted the government to step in when an owner refused to allow Sun Yue to play for the national team, but the government did not intervene. The league (not the government) then kicked that team out of the league, so the owner moved the team to California of all places where they played in the NBA. (Ironically it was this team that Paul Shirley played briefly for).
    • Compares Yi to Dirk, though without all the range (I can live with that). Defensively says he's more like Tyson Chandler in terms of athleticism and timing, though he's not the rebounder Chandler is (damn, and I thought defense was his weakness?).

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