Report: Ilyasova, Belinelli both leave Sixers in free agency

By Josh Liddick, Sports Talk Philly editor 

NBA Free Agency kicked off with a bang early Sunday morning, as players all over the league made their intentions known. The biggest name to make his decision was Paul George, who decided to re-sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder on a four-year $137 million deal.

But the Sixers have already experienced loss, as two of their players key in last season's playoff run have bolted for other teams in Free Agency.

Ersan Ilyasova and Marco Belinelli both signed with the Sixers late in the season as contract buyouts from the Atlanta Hawks, and they are both going to be playing with new teams next season.

First reported by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, power forward Ersan Ilyasova signed a three-year deal to return to the Milwaukee Bucks, a team he played for from 2005-2007 and again from 2009-2015. 

Ilyasova averaged 10.8 points, 6.7 rebounds, shot 43.9 percent from the field, and 36.1 percent from beyond-the-arc in 23 games for the Sixers last regular season. His veteran leadership and offense off the bench will be sorely missed for the second year in a row.

Wojnarowski also reported that Belinelli signed a two-year deal with the San Antonio Spurs.

Belinelli is one that hurts just a little bit. He really came into his own with the Sixers in the limited amount of time he had with the team, especially in the playoffs. Belinelli averaged 13.6 points, shot 49.5 percent from the field, 38.5 percent from downtown in 28 regular season games for the Sixers last season. He averaged 12.9 points in 10 playoff games in addition.

As free agents are signing left and right, the Sixers just lost two of their most important offensive threats off the bench in one fell swoop. They are still in the hunt for LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard, even though nothing has been set in stone yet. If they are unable to secure the services of one of those players, they will need to figure out a way to get shooters to sign to replace both Ilyasova and Belinelli.

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