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Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Cavs center to decide whether he'll play Thursday news services

Cleveland Cavaliers: Center Zydrunas Ilgauskas, out since dislocating his right ring finger April 5, practiced Wednesday and will decide Thursday night whether he'll play against the New York Knicks.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas
Cleveland Cavaliers
73 17.2 8.7 1.3 .461 .810

"This is the most I've done, so we'll see how it feels tomorrow," Ilgauskas, wearing a splint and a wrap on his right hand, said. "The pain comes and goes. It's basically my decision to see how I can do. I'm going to have to make up my mind."

The Eastern Conference All-Star, averaging 17.2 points, had been told the injury could take six weeks to heal. Cleveland has won its last two games with Robert Traylor as the starting center.

"I don't want my season ending. So I've got to do the best I can," Ilgauskas said.

LeBron's agent squashes Nike-Knicks rumors: Despite the wishful thinking of fan Spike Lee, LeBron James won't be in a New York Knicks uniform anytime soon. Agent Aaron Goodwin responded to Lee's comments that suggested James' lucrative contract with Nike would increase in value if the second-year star played for a big-market team like the Knicks.

Some believe James could refuse to re-sign with the Cavaliers when his deal expires in the summer of 2007. James could then wind up in New York be signing a one-year deal for $5 million, the mid-level exception. Nike, ostensibly, would make up the difference.

"I'll never predict what can happen in the future, but at this point he wants to bring a championship to Cleveland and has no intention of leaving," Goodwin told the New York Post. "He has full confidence the new owner [Dan Gilbert] will do everything he can to build a winning team. He will not think of going anywhere else until that goal is exhausted."

James also tried to put any speculation to rest. "The fans in the city of Cleveland have nothing to worry about at this point. I'm here," James said.

While Goodwin wouldn't confirm or deny if James had any clauses in his Nike deal associated to where he played, Goodwin said Nike hasn't put any pressure the 20-year-old guard.

"I don't think Nike needs him in New York," Goodwin told the Post. "He's worldwide, whether LeBron is playing in New York or Timbuktu."

Washington Wizards: The Wizards activated Brendan Haywood from the injured list and the center was in the starting lineup for Wednesday night's game against the Chicago Bulls.

The Wizards prevailed 93-82 Wednesday night and clinched their first playoff birth since 1997.

Haywood missed 10 games after breaking his left thumb against the Los Angeles Clippers on March 27.

Haywood is averaging career-highs in points (9.4), rebounds (6.8), blocks (1.6), minutes (27.4) and field goal percentage (.561).

The Wizards placed center Peter John Ramos on the injured list with left knee tendinitis.

Seattle SuperSonics: After missing eight games, All-Star forward Rashard Lewis returned to the lineup for the Sonics on Wednesday night against Dallas.

Lewis had been sidelined with a deep bone bruise in his right foot. He had not played since a March 27 loss at Washington, and Seattle lost six of eight games without him in the lineup. Lewis averages 20.7 points in 38 minutes.

Seattle coach Nate McMillan said Lewis would be in the starting lineup, but would be limited to about 20 or 25 minutes.

Seattle reserves Antonio Daniels and Danny Fortson also returned. Daniels had missed the last three games with a left knee injury, and Fortson missed the last two with a left shoulder sprain.

McMillan said he does not expect reserve forward Vladimir Radmanovic to return before the end of the regular season. Radmanovic was placed on the injured list March 18 with a stress fracture in his lower right leg.

Seattle needed one victory or a loss by Denver to clinch the Northwest Division title.

Orlando Magic: The extended family of the Magic grew by two when guard DeShaun Stevenson and forward Pat Garrity became fathers Wednesday night.

Neither player was with the team, which lost 103-94 to the Detroit Pistons.

Garrity welcomed a son, Henry Joseph; Stevenson, a daughter, Skye Christian. The players should be back in uniform Friday night when the Magic play at Chicago.

Stevenson is averaging 7.2 points, but averaged 22.3 in his last four games. Garrity has played 70 games, averaging 4.6 points and 1.7 rebounds.

Information from The Associated Press and SportsTicker was included in this report.