LeBron excited about prospects for Z

George M. Thomas

Today marks the moment that former Cavaliers center Zydrunas Ilgauskas
can return to the team.

Ilgauskas was traded to the Washington Wizards in a three-team deal that
garnered the Cavs the services of power forward Antawn Jamison and
point guard Sebastian Telfair. Ilgauskas’ contract was subsequently
bought out and he can re-sign with the Cavs as early as today.

LeBron James, though cautious with comments, wasn’t shy about saying that he wants the 7-foot-3 center to return to the team.

”I’m excited,” James said.

Ilgauskas’ agent informed all parties, including the Denver Nuggets and Dallas Mavericks, who were interested in acquiring Ilgauskas’ services, that he would be negotiating with the Cavs once he was able. But there are thorny issues that will have to be resolved, one of which is potential playing time.

”It won’t be a problem. Z’s a veteran. His play will automatically guarantee him minutes because of how good he is, how tall he is and shooting ability,” James said. ”Z doesn’t have to come in here and worry about not having a role with this team.”

The other issue: Who goes. The Cavs roster has 15 players on it and it will come down to numbers, eventually.

”[General Manager] Danny Ferry and those guys have to figure it out, and once they figure out what they need to figure out, they’ll include me in on it. Then I’ll give my two cents,” coach Mike Brown said. ”Obviously, if anybody comes in here, we will have a roster situation that we have to look at.”

There’s the problem with having a deep roster. Brown wouldn’t say who might be affected, but second-year forward Darnell Jackson is a likely choice.

Not because he hasn’t worked but because he hasn’t been able to play his way onto the court, when even undrafted signees such as Jawad Williams have. Brown refuses to speculate about the possibility.

”Really I haven’t even thought of it until someone says: ‘Yes, Z’s coming back. Yes, we’ve got a deal done because we want him back,’ then I’ll start to think, ‘This is who Z may replace,’ ” Brown said.


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