Thursday , May , 25 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Zydrunas Ilgauskas to Be Traded?

Have the Cavs’ management grown tired of long-time employee the Big Zzzz and put him and his fractured feet on the get-them-gone list? It seems unlikely given his value in a league severely lacking in true centres, but it is nonetheless being reported that Zydrunas Ilgauskas may be on the trading block this summer. At present, tactical concerns are the only explanations being given for Cleveland’s (alleged) desire to shift the hulking European, so it would be premature to assume that Z’s being shopped for beefing with the wrong people.

Ilgauskas struggled during the postseason, averaging 10 points and shooting 45 percent, both well below his regular-season averages.

The Cavs sometimes performed better with a quicker lineup on the floor, including young big man Anderson Varejão.

Officials from other teams, as well as some of Ilgauskas’ teammates, believe he is under-used in the Cavs’ current offensive scheme

The answer might be that he is not the right fit with the talent on the roster, and the Cavs could look to join a growing trend in the NBA, which is to play a more up-tempo game with less emphasis on a back-to-the-basket center like Ilgauskas.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas to Be Traded?

If the organisation really is thinking of moving Ilgauskas, they won’t be short of offers this off-season. As one of the few fives in the league who can’t be considered a power forward in disguise, he’d be a starter on twenty-five or more NBA teams, and as such he has to be considered in terms of more than his numbers. 

If I were a General Manager whose franchise was a little thin in the middle, I’d strongly consider packaging together a few players as bait, although I’d make it a condition of the trade that Z had to shave that “beard” of his. I swear that thing moves independently of his face.