Cleveland–If Big Z wants to return to Cleveland after the Wizards buy out his contract the league doesn’t plan to stand in his way.
A league official with knowledge of its procedures said there’s been no discussion by the NBA about blocking Zydrunas Ilgauskas’ return to Cleveland after he secures a buyout. The official said the NBA would only look into the matter if there were evidence of a prearranged deal for Ilgauskas to re-sign with the Cavaliers after being traded to Washington and released. The Wizards plan to buy out Ilgauskas’ contract soon, and he then would have to wait 30 days to re-sign with the Cavaliers or he could sign with another team immediately after clearing waivers in 48 hours.
The Los Angeles Times reported Sunday night that the league would not allow Ilgauskas to return to the Cavaliers. The Times cited as precedent the league blocking Dallas from trading Jerry Stackhouse in 2008, but the league barred that move after Stackhouse told media a deal was already in place for him to return to the Mavs after a trade and buyout.
By contrast, Brian Windhorst of the Cleveland Plan Dealer reported that Ilgauskas recently said the Cavs had never discussed with him what would happen after a trade. “To be honest, I don’t even know how a buyout works,” Ilgauskas told Windhorst before he was traded.
The Hawks are among the teams who plan to make a run at Ilgauskas after he’s released. His agent, Herb Rudoy, has said he hopes to negotiate a buyout with Washington soon.