Ersan Ilyasova is the latest veteran journeyman acquired by the 76ers through a trade or off waivers.
All of the previous acquisitions were used to help get the Sixers to the salary-cap floor or as a temporary Band-Aid for a tough situation.
When he was asked this weekend about the possibility of re-signing with the Sixers, Ilyasova gave the impression that he wants to be more than a stopgap player. The 6-foot-10 power forward will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
"I like the team," said Ilyasova, 29, a ninth-year veteran. "I like the way we play. I see a bright future with this team.
"There are small things we have to adjust . . . later, and I think we will be right in the top eight of the playoff teams."
Ilyasova talked as if he's going to be here. The Sixers are delighted with his performance and he s fitting in well in the locker room.
Sixers president Bryan Colangelo even said on Dec. 19, "We'd really like to see him continue to be a 76er" after this season.
However, a lot of that will depend on the type of offers he'll demand in free agency. Receiving a lucrative contract, a key role, and chance to play for a contender are always enticing.
Right now, Ilyasova, is a starter when the Sixers don't utilize their twin towers starting lineup. Six of the team's eight victories came when the Turkish player started.
He has averaged 14.8 points and 6.6 rebounds, shooting 40.1 percent on three-pointers, since being acquired in a trade from the Oklahoma City Thunder on Nov. 1. Ilyasova made 5 of 6 three-pointers and finished with 23 points and 13 rebounds in Friday's victory in Denver against the Nuggets. It was his seventh double-double of the season. He also has hit at least one three-pointer in all of his 29 games as a Sixer.
At first, he was in shock when Sixers acquired him and a protected 2020 first-round pick in exchange for Jerami Grant. The Sixers (8-24) are his fifth NBA team in the last year and a half.
But after thinking about it, Ilyasova said he realized the Sixers are a good situation for him.
"The most important thing is to be wanted somewhere," Ilyasova said on Nov. 2. "I felt like they wanted me and I'm looking forward it."