Most Hawks players held exit interviews with the media last week following the season-ending playoff loss to the Wizards. Over the next few days I will post five questions with some of those players to give some insight into their season and offseason plans.
Today: Ersan Ilyasova, who will be an unrestricted free agent.
Q. What are your plans now that you will become an unrestricted free agent?
A. It’s hard to tell from this point. Myself, I worked all season but all those trades were tough. I changed three teams in one season. Way too much. I had to fight through it. Stay healthy. Stay strong mentally. The most important thing is I played all 82 games. That is the first time in my career and I was in Milwaukee for eight years. The one year I played 81 games. This year, I played all 82 games. I’m bless for that and I’m looking forward to free agency to see what happens.
Q. Did you like it here? Would you consider coming back here?
A. Of course. It was a great experience. I really feel comfortable with the group of guys we have here. It’s all about how it’s going to work out this summer.
Q. Are you going to play for Turkey this summer?
A. It’s hard to tell. I don’t know how the free agency will go and how long that will take. I’ll have to figure out all those things. I will figure out all those things as quick as possible but I will consider.
Q. How difficult was it this season to play for three teams?
A. It was difficult. You start training camp and try to prepare yourself with Oklahoma (City) and you get all those basics, plays and adjustments, know the teammates. I spent the whole preseason there. When you spend a whole preseason, you focus on those things. But I just played three regular-season games with them before I was traded to Philadelphia. I had a good time there. There was nice guys. It was, I will say, the best time of my career. We didn’t play that well. I can’t say the same thing for Atlanta. I got playoff experience. Those two teams, obviously Philly a young team and not experienced and I get traded to Atlanta with a lot of veterans with experience and different goals. It was a great experience to be part of the playoffs and see through it. Unfortunately, we didn’t make it to the second round but it was worth it.
Q. Considering what you went through, is getting some kind of guarantee that you will be somewhere for a while a part of your decision?
A. It is really important, not just for myself but for my family as well. It was hard on them as well to move from one city to another. I’m looking for stability. When you look at the trades you are always wondering. One team doesn’t want you, another team wants you. It’s both ways. Like I said, I will also try to get positives things out of my situation.