Cleveland Cavaliers, Ilgauskas Reunite
Saying that he could not forgive himself if the Cleveland Cavaliers win the NBA championship without him, center Zydrunas Ilgauskas has agreed to rejoin the team that used him as trade bait for Antawn Jamison. ESPN reported that the Cavaliers and Ilgausakas reached a deal on Tuesday afternoon that would allow the 14-year veteran to play the rest of the season in Cleveland.
The Cavaliers released forward Darnell Jackson and gave his place in the roster to Ilgauskas, who became an unrestricted free agent after the Washington Wizards bought out his contract on February 25. Ilgauskas, who refused to sign with any other team, had to wait 30 days before he could return to the Cavaliers, the only squad he has ever played with in his NBA career.
Ilgauskas could regain his spot as the Cavaliers’ starting center, as Shaquille O’Neal is out for the regular season with a thumb injury. Fans reacted furiously when Ilgauskas was shipped out in the three-team deal that sent Jamison to Cleveland, with general manager Danny Ferry saying that he received a barrage of e-mail and voicemail after the deal was consummated.