Monday, February 22, 2010

Zydrunas Ilgauskas to Boston? Well, Now That You Mention it...

Warning: This is not a rumor. just an idea. Hopefully you haven't already crapped yourself before reading this.

NESN's Evan Brunell brings up this possibility:

If or when new Wizards big man Zydrunas Ilgauskas gets bought out by Washington, should Boston try to bring him to town?

Ilgauskas, who previously spent his entire 12-year career with the Cavaliers before being traded in the Antawn Jamison blockbuster, is widely expected to be bought out and return to Cleveland.

Currently, NBA rules prevent Ilgauskas from returning to Cleveland for a 30-day period, but many players and teams have taken advantage of this rule -- including Boston. In 2005, the Celtics traded Gary Payton to the Atlanta Hawks for Antoine Walker, and then welcomed Payton back into the fold 30 days later.
Such is the reality of life in the NBA, where expiring contracts are more valuable than the players themselves. (Ilgauskas is making $11.5 million this year and will become a free agent after the season.)
I'm sure Doc wouldn't mind. He's already sounded off about the disgraceful rule that once again has allowed teams to go hit-and-run on lowly teams looking to rebuild or dump cash with the other team all for the deal. Red's Army has a post including Doc Rivers' and Phil Jackson's thoughts on the deal, as well as some insight of their own:
One of the main points in my rant against the Antawn Jamison trade is the fact that the Cavs could pretty much get the main player traded on their end back after a buyout.  So they could essentially get Jamison... a 20 and 9 guy... for a couple of draft picks.

A lot of people are upset at the rule that allows players to return to their former teams 30 days after a buyout.  Doc Rivers and Phil Jackson expressed their displeasure last night.

"They're going to get Ilgauskas back and it's going to be one of those scenarios that we see in the NBA where you ship a player out, you get another player, then your player retires or they pay him off and then he comes back in 30 days," Jackson said. "I don't know what that does for the league. I think that's kind of a weird situation."

Rivers agreed with Jackson, even though the loophole has helped his team in the past.

"I have a problem with that," Rivers said before Thursday's Lakers-Celtics game at Staples Center. "I loved it three years ago when we did it with Gary Payton if you remember, but now I think it sucks. I think it's a terrible deal."
Forgetting the fact that it would be a rather shocking blow to the Cavs (not necessarily significant, as they have a solid front court -- but certainly surprising), and that Rivers and the other teams won't have to stand back and watch as another Pau Gasol-esque deal goes down in the books, but Ilgauskas is a pretty good player too. It's just the fact that Ilgauskas would probably demand more money than we could handle because Cleveland is his number one destination (at least from what we've heard), so he would be asking for a lot to deter him from going to Cleveland. And in the end, the reward might just not be matching up with the price. Still, it's an interesting option we can mull over while we're waiting for him to be bought out.

We have two extra roster spots, so we wouldn't need to waive/buy anybody out (and if we did, Shelden's one year/< 1 mil. dollar contract wouldn't be too costly). Just a thought.

It doesn't sound like a very attractive deal at first glance (the money demand, mainly), but in terms of a playoff run, he could help in more ways than one.

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