Ilgauskas “impressed” with Hawks but plans to return to Cleveland

The agent for Zyrdunas Ilgauskas confirmed today that Big Z plans to return to the Cavaliers, ending the Hawks’ pursuit of the 7-foot-3 center.

“He was very impressed by the (Hawks’) efforts to sign him,” agent Herb Rudoy wrote in a text message. “He spoke to a couple of (Hawks) players and was really encouraged by them to play in Atlanta. At the end his long relationship with the Cavs won out.”

Rudoy said Ilgauskas would return to Cleveland “if a suitable contract can be agreed upon” when negotiations can officially start on March 22 but Ilgauskas obviously wouldn’t wait around that long if there were any chance a deal won’t be reached. Ilgauskas must wait until 30 days after Cleveland traded him to re-sign with the team.

Ilgauskas is the only free agent the Hawks were considering for their 14th roster spot. Barring injury, the Hawks plan to carry the league minimum 13 players for the rest of the season.


90 comments Add your comment


March 5th, 2010
9:31 am


March 5th, 2010
9:34 am



March 5th, 2010
9:36 am

Kinda figured he just agreed to meet with us for the free food;-(

Screw em!


March 5th, 2010
9:45 am

Not shocking at all. Now when he’s looking for work this summer for next season, I hope the Hawks bypass him…. Matter of fact, I would like to see somebody drop the “People’s Elbow” on him the next time they play the Hawks…


March 5th, 2010
9:53 am

Oh Melvin, a little bitter? 4-game playoff sweeps can do that I guess. I hope you’re ready for another.


March 5th, 2010
9:55 am

Pat, kind of like the death-grip the Magic put you in last year?


March 5th, 2010
10:01 am

Too bad. Would have been nice to land him.

Ken Strickland

March 5th, 2010
10:05 am

I think it was an easy choice for him. If he came to the Hawks, he’d have to adjust to new players and a very inconsistent and inflexible HC. He’d also have to learn a new and very limited OFF, which is like no other in the NBA. He’d also have to learn to play Woody’s beloved switching DEF. What 7′3″ immobile Big would relish learning a DEF that would consistently have him isolated on the perimeter trying to guard some of the NBA’s quickest, fastest PG’s/SG’s, like JNelson, DWade, MWilliams, KBryant, TParker, SCurry and BJennings etc, in just 22gms?

Going back to Cleveland means he’d automatically become an immediate starter for the rest of the season, and except for adjusting to a new PF, neither he or his family would have to make any other adjustments.


March 5th, 2010
10:08 am

I dont think anyone thought Z would sign anywhere else, regardless of how hurt he felt, he just wanted to feel loved and needed by the Cavs again.


With us giving up so many points in the paint, I have always thought the Hawks played soft. I would like to see us give some hard fouls because we give up a lot of dunks and layups, and too many And ones in my opinion.

Ken Strickland

March 5th, 2010
10:10 am

I’m also certain he noticed how well Cleveland has done since the trade, with the adjustments and injuries they’ve had to deal with, and how inconsistent the Hawks have been without having to deal with any adjustments or injuries.


March 5th, 2010
10:14 am

It speaks volumns when you read “the Hawks will carry the MINIMUM number of players”.

MINIMUM, our management is carrying the MINIMUM.

Dr. Warren

March 5th, 2010
10:17 am

Why would the guy leave his long-time team when they’re favored to win the title? He says he wants to win a title. Comparatively, coming here would be a dead-end street. Nonetheless, too bad we didn’t get him.


March 5th, 2010
10:18 am

The Hawks have the team to win it all,but,sadly they don’t have the coach!! With the talent on the Hawks,Betty White could coach them into the play-offs but the Hawks will NEVER be an elite team as long as Woody is around !

Art Vandelay

March 5th, 2010
10:19 am

Dap, why bother carrying any more than the minimum number of players when a) the options available are pathetic and b) Woody rarely goes beyond 8 or 9 deep in a game? Any more players on the roster would just be dead weight.

Ron Mexico

March 5th, 2010
10:20 am

Man the NBA is getting to be exactly like baseball, only certain teams ever have a chance of winning anything cause they are so stacked.

Section 303

March 5th, 2010
10:22 am

Screw Big Z and his stupid agent….him being here or not being here will have no impact on the season’s outcome. They should just go back to being the Cavs lapdogs, sign their contract, and shut up. Don’t patronize us with stupid quotes like “He spoke to a couple of Hawks and was really encouraged by them…”

Whole lot of talk about a very average player.


March 5th, 2010
10:23 am

What quality players are out there on waivers that can honestly help this team get above the MINIMUM? I’m all for signing, but who is dangling now we really want?

I’ve heard Mike Miller might be a prospect, but others aren’t out there? Except Lindsey, I’m 48, hunter.


March 5th, 2010
10:24 am

I was hoping we would look at Michael Finley for vet bench help, but I geuss not. The Celtics got him to sign ……given how much PT Joe Smith and Jason Collins have gotten, Finley definitely wasn’t getting more minutes vs. what he got (albeit injured) @ San Antonio.

@K. Strickland – totally agree. Big Z was a pipe dream and seemingly a poor fit for this Hawks team. Finley (age and injuries notwithstanding) would have seemed more likely, just given his prior roles and physical makeup.


March 5th, 2010
10:26 am

“If a suitable contract can be worked out…”

The scam continues.


March 5th, 2010
10:27 am

This deal was already done before the trade went through. Big Z prolonged the signing to play it off a little bit. The NBA is a joke. The Cavs now got Jamison for nothing and the Cavs are poised to compete for a championship with the help of another franchise. Now the NBA will probably get a Lakers-Cavs Final as it has wanted for 2 years now.

What the Cavs did reminds me of what Billy Knight did in trading Rasheed Wallace to the Pistons to help them win a championship. By the way who did we get from the Pistons Bob Sura for half a year?



March 5th, 2010
10:29 am

Too bad we couldn’t come out like Memphis did on the Gasol trade when Rasheed and the Glove made ATL cameos.


March 5th, 2010
10:30 am

The difference Gman, is that I’m not bitter about it – we got out-played and out-coached. I’m not here wishing physical harm on D Howard.

Just to help you out with the math though, the Hawks got swept 4-0 with an average margin of victory of 15 or 16 points. The Magic beat us in 6 with a margin of victory of 2 or 3. Cavs/Hawks was men against boys, Cavs/magic was a very entertaining series (3 games decided by 1 or 2 points) that my team didn’t win.

Hawk n the Ham

March 5th, 2010
10:33 am

Who needs Big Z when we have a new player in the starting lineup, MARVIN!!!


March 5th, 2010
10:37 am

if marvin williams continue to play the way he’s been plying the last two games and bibby just make his open shots. i feel good about us going forward. mw mb is the key to how far the hawks can go. josh smith is a beast he get’s it.

Stat Man

March 5th, 2010
10:45 am

I still think all that crap about him having his feelings hurt they used him as bait for the trade, etc. is just a coverup to really “prove” the non-fact that they didn’t have a verbal agreement from the start.

The only way he doesn’t go back to the Cavs is if the NBA thinks there was something worked out in advance, and all this grandstanding was nothing more than to really give the impression they didn’t. Well congrats Cavs, it worked!

All that said – I’m glad I lived in the ATL when the team was winning 15 games than in Cleveland and STILL would rather live in the ATL – there’s more to life than a Championship hopeful basketball team when you have to live in a cesspool to get it (Z kinda looks like he just crawled out of Lake Eerie anyway – at least out of the toxic part).


March 5th, 2010
10:46 am

The whole “hurt” feelings stuff was a big scam. Again, the cavs were trying not to rub the commish nose in this whole planned trade and resign deal, so Big Z had to shed a few tears and make a small scene over being traded. It’s legal, just unethical to work that way. I would bet money this trade and resign loophole gets fixed before next season, especially if he contributes to the cavs winning it all.


March 5th, 2010
10:48 am

Ken Stickland

You forgot to mention how Woody has the least accomplished roster of the EC big 4. The Hawks are in the top 3 offensively in the EC, and top 9 in the league. Also they are one of the top 6 teams in the league.

This team is playing good basketball. Do they need to improve? Yes. Can Woody do a better job with player development and rotations? Yes. However they are still a good team, and if you think think this is a championship level roster you are sadly mistaken.

You may get a new coach next year, but be clear with this roster…you are not better than Cle or Orl. Period!

jay dubu

March 5th, 2010
10:51 am

The rule that allows a team to trade a player and then resign him has to be changed.

What did Washington get from this deal?

Nothing, that will make them a competitive team the remainder of this season, or next. They received cash, which doesn’t matter, becuase they’re not going to be in the free agent sweeps this summer.


March 5th, 2010
10:54 am

This is a joke. It is ridicules that a team can trade a player, then the team he was traded to can immediately cut him and he can go back to the original team. The NBA needs to fix their trading rules.

Sly Foxxx

March 5th, 2010
11:15 am

To everyone that refers to the Hawks (or any other professional sports team for that matter) as ‘we’… You are all a bunch of losers. YOU ARE NOT ON THE FREAKIN TEAM!!! A bunch of dudes who dont give a rat’s ass about your existence and would probably hate you if they ever met you are. They get the big bucks. You watch from your momma’s couch. And to all the cavs haters… At least Cavs get past the first round.


March 5th, 2010
11:23 am

forget him I hope he blows out another knee


March 5th, 2010
11:27 am

and for the idiot above me dont get to happy. Stern cheated you the first pick so king James could play for you guys cause without him you would still be the worse team in the NBA plus its Cleveland the worst piece of crap city in the US. I cant wait till he leaves for the bulls to bring back the Bulls and then the Cavs will return to being a joke as a team and a town


March 5th, 2010
11:31 am

We think you suck Sly Floxx


March 5th, 2010
11:34 am


We got Josh Smith when we traded Rasheed to the Pistons. They gave us their 1st round draft pick.

Stat Man

March 5th, 2010
11:37 am

Sly Foxx – Go jump in a lake – or more specifically you Cav lover – Lake Erie so you two cesspools can be together.


March 5th, 2010
11:38 am

like really Cleveland….if your from there or still live there you might as well go kill yourself. King James is all you got


March 5th, 2010
11:45 am


I think the bottom line for big Z was he knew that his best chance at a ring this year is in Cleveland, his family lives in Cleveland, they have been there for years (so why move), and isn’t the Cavs the only team he has played for?

I dont think Z did all that analysis you suggested (looking at coaches, players and systems).

falcons pick spoon

March 5th, 2010
11:47 am

Pat, you guys got beat in 5 last year, not 6. And if it wasn’t for an errant shot clock and another fourth quarter collapse by us this season we would be 2-0 against you guys. You better hope you guys win it all this year because if not, out goes Lebron and any hope you guys ever had


March 5th, 2010
11:48 am

good for him tho I mean hes old, has no knees, and looks like a cancer patient but im not mad at him. enjoy losing to the lakers (or magic) before King james leaves who wouldnt want to be apart of the James farwell tour


March 5th, 2010
11:49 am

Z knows, knew all along he is worthless without James. He and Cleveland were worthless before James and both are worthless without.

What the hell is impressive about a big, slow 7′3″ stiff with a 13yr, lifetime 13 pt, 7 reb career averages.

Z is tall, and that’s all. The prototype for that saying.


March 5th, 2010
11:49 am

Cavs won’t get pass the magic in the playoffs anyway. So go back to the cavs big Z. Woody won’t have used you anyway neither. The Hawks will have to make do with Al and the gang.


March 5th, 2010
11:51 am

and crap your right I forgot we should be 2-0 agianst you guys I mean idk if we can win cause Joe wont get the calls like leBron does i mean if he gets touched its a foul but we can push you for 6 or 7


March 5th, 2010
12:07 pm





March 5th, 2010
12:10 pm

@ Clyde,

“By the way who did we get from the Pistons Bob Sura for half a year?”

The answer to that would be the #17 pick of the 2004 draft, better known as J Smoove. I’d say that deal worked out pretty well for both teams.


March 5th, 2010
12:25 pm

@ Kevin A,

From the previous blog, I don’t know what Marvin has been coached to do with regard to getting back on D but I have a hard time believing that Woody wouldn’t rather have him crash the boards for this undersized team than be responsible for getting back on D. Apparently, Woody’s talk with him has led to him rebounding more aggressively so I think that tends to show that he would rather Marvin crash than get back on D.

That said, it is a complicated issue. If he crashes too soon, he takes away a possible outlet pass from JJ when he gets doubled so he and JJ need to be on the same page. I think Marvin needs to take it upon himself to crash the boards more often than not because JJ is going to shoot it most of the time.

@ Grandad,

I hear you BUT each player responds differently to criticism from the coaches so a good coach tries to figure out what works best for each player. Woody might be able to yell at Smoove and Jamal to get the best out of them but he might not be able to do the same thing with JJ and Marvin (I’m not saying that is the case, just using it as an example).

Perhaps Woody tried to reach Marvin in other ways before he decided that enough was enough and he called him in. I don’t know what his reasons were for not calling him in before but since the talk, Marvin has been better. Maybe Woody should have called him in a while ago but maybe not. As long as Marvin gets better going forward, it’s all good to me.


March 5th, 2010
12:30 pm

sura was a great shooting guard and did not sleep walk thru the games

ant banks

March 5th, 2010
12:37 pm

i am hopin’ that with shaq out and big z not bein’ able to return until the march 23rd, maybe orlando can surpass cleveland for 1st seed. i would much rather play clev in the 2nd rnd than orlando.

as far as the criticism for the hawks we are fine, jus’ win the games that you are suppose to win and compete in all the other ones and everything will be okay


March 5th, 2010
12:38 pm

I love this blog.

We have the worst coach in the NBA.

Our Center is undersized.

Our PF is an idiot.

Our SF sucks.

Our SG is a ball hog.

Our PG is old, slow and plays no D.

Our BU Center is the worst player in the NBA.

Our 6th man is better than our 4-time All Star starting SG.

Our rookie PG would be better than Chris Paul by now if our idiot coach would play him.

Our owners are cheap.

Our previous GM never drafted the right guy.

Our current GM resigned the wrong guys.

AND YET, we currently have the 2nd best record in the HISTORY OF THE FRANCHISE after 60 games, we sit in 3rd place in the EC and only 3 teams in the entire NBA have fewer losses than we do. Gotta love it! :)

Section 303

March 5th, 2010
12:45 pm

Traceman, I think you are right. I wonder if some were here when things were really bad (like winning only 13 games bad!). Please…that is why I get so annoyed when Ken goes out of his way to point out that the Hawks “got a break” that so-and-so was injured. At some point, the Hawks have to get credit for being a good team, right? They should never have to apologize for winning.


March 5th, 2010
12:47 pm


Nicely said! Buh bye Pat.