Update: The Hawks announced that Ilyasova has been waived, officially completing his buyout.
After exercising his right not to be traded prior to the NBA Trade Deadline, Hawks forward Ersan Ilyasova seems to be on his way out with reporting that he is nearing a buyout, per Sam Amick of USA TODAY.
Atlanta Hawks nearing a buyout with Ersan Ilyasova, I’m told.— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) February 23, 2018
In addition, Michael Cunningham of the AJC indicates that a tentative agreement is in place and expected to be completed.
Hawks buyout agreement with Ilyasova is tentative but expected to get done.— Michael Cunningham (@MCunninghamAJC) February 23, 2018
Speaking prior to the deadline, Ilyasova had this to say about possibly sticking with the Hawks past the deadline and buyout season.
“There are a couple of days left and I want to see other options,” said Ilyasova after February 6th’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies. “But I am really kind of OK being here. We’ve got something good going on. We are trying to improve as a team. I want to see all options but I would really like to be here.”
It shouldn’t be a total surprise that Ilyasova is now set to leave, despite these comments. By choosing this route, Ilyasova now has the choice to survey his options — something that a trade may not have necessarily have given him.
The move also means the Hawks now have 13 players on the roster. Once Ilyasova is waived, the Hawks have two weeks to sign a 14th player to the roster. The Hawks had initially achieved this by signing Antonius Cleveland yesterday.
The move would also appear to give rookie John Collins a clear path to more playing time, something that many have been crying out for.
For the season, Ilyasova is averaging 10.9 points per game on 46% shooting from the field, 36% from three and 5.5 rebounds per game in 46 games played this season.