Thursday, February 25, 2010
Ilgauskas put on waivers by Wizards
By Jeff Caplan
Bought out by the Washington Wizards on Thursday, center Zydrunas Ilgauskas will consider the Dallas Mavericks as a possible destination, his agent said.
"He definitely has some options to think about and one will definitely be the Mavs," Ilgauskas' agent, Herb Rudoy, said.
The 7-foot-3 Lithuanian is on waivers and must wait 48 hours before he can sign with another team, although Rudoy can open conversations with other clubs. The overwhelming belief around the league is that Ilgauskas will wait the mandatory 30-day period per NBA rules, then re-sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he played his entire 12-year career before being packaged in a deal to Washington for forward Antawn Jamison.
Dallas has an obvious interest with center Erick Dampier sidelined indefinitely with a dislocated right middle finger. Dampier said before Wednesday night's game that there is no timetable yet for his return.
Denver and Atlanta reportedly also have interest in signing Ilgauskas and both can potentially offer a bigger role because the Mavs will eventually get Dampier back.
"It's a long shot," Mavs president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said. "He's going to take his time."
Ilgauskas is familiar with Nelson through Nelson's association with the Lithuanian national team.
Ilgauskas was averaging 7.5 points and 5.3 rebounds this season for the Cavaliers, numbers well below his career marks because of his reduced playing time behind Shaquille O'Neal.
Ilgauskas would provide the Mavs depth behind newly acquired center Brendan Haywood. Currently, the Mavericks do not have a true center to back him up. Their tallest reserve is 6-8 veteran forward Eduardo Najera.
"He has a lot invested in the Cavaliers, that's the dilemma as to what he's going to do," Rudoy said of Ilgauskas. "But he's in no rush."
Because Ilgauskas was waived before March 1, he will be eligible for the playoffs no matter when he signs.
Jeff Caplan covers the Mavericks for ESPN Dallas. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag.