Zydrunas Ilgauskas Will Have Options
Such moves have become more and more common these days, but in this case, it's hardly set in stone. For one, after all their wheeling and dealing, the Wizards are no longer financially compelled to waive Ilgauskas.
As CBS Sports' Ken Berger notes, the Wizards officially sneaked below the luxury tax threshold by sending Dominic McGuire and cash to the Kings for a 2010 second-round pick, meaning Ilgauskas will have to convince the Wiz to offer a buyout, not the other way around. Of course, the Wizards still have plenty of motivation to free Ilgauskas -- his presence in the rotation would hinder the team's youth movement -- but he may be forced to give up more salary than first thought to make it happen.
Secondly, even if we assume Ilgauskas is bought out, his agent has already indicated that several other contenders have expressed interested in convincing him to sign elsewhere.
"I'm going to try to get them to do a buy-out, but I've already heard from a few teams -- good teams -- that are really interested in wanting to talk about Z going to play for them," agent Herb Rudoy told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "That doesn't surprise me. He's still a very good player. He's a very interesting player who can still be a very good center in this league.
"I don't know exactly what's going to happen. I think his heart is in Cleveland, that's for sure. But we'll see how this plays out. He's got 30 days to make a decision if it's Cleveland. If it's somebody else, he could make it in a week. His whole decision will be based on what's best for his career. He'd like to win a championship, that's for sure. But it's his call, not mine. I'm just going to give him all the options."
The Mavericks are believed to have interest should Ilgauskas become available, as are the Hawks and Nuggets.
Looking to the future, Ilgauskas confirmed to FanHouse last month that he plans to play at least one more season beyond this year, but if he hopes to return to Cleveland, he'll have to do so on a drastically reduced salary. By virtue of his being traded, Cleveland can no longer go over the salary cap to sign Ilgauskas next season, and the team will likely target players capable of making a bigger impact this summer before carving out a piece of their available salary cap space for him.