Zydrunas Ilgauskas Now Free To Act Like He Wasn't Returning To Cleveland All Along
The NBA has become famous for trade deadline deals that involve players with expiring contracts changing teams, only to return to the team who traded them a few weeks after reaching buyout agreements with their new teams before ever playing a game.
When the Cleveland Cavaliers traded Zydrunas Ilgauskas to Washington in the Antawn Jamison trade, the rebuilding Wizards clearly were not interested in an aging, plodding center. The Cavs were probably not all that interested in losing a player in Ilgauskas who has spent his entire career in Cleveland and is a good friend of soon-to-be free agent LeBron James.
In short, there is no doubt that Ilgauskas will re-sign with Cleveland as soon as the mandatory waiting period is over. Sure, the articles about other contending teams being interested in a solid role-playing big man will spring up, casting some doubt, but players like Ilgauskas, who have been in one spot for a long time, probably don't particularly enjoy moving in the middle of the season.
Could there be some hard feelings that the Cavs would trade him? Maybe. But he can always come back, sign for the rest of the season, possibly win a championship with James, then change teams next year, when it's much easier to do things like find a new home, learn about a new city, move the family, etc.
I don't mind that NBA trades play out like this, with everyone looking the other way, pretending Ilgauskas going back to Cleveland was not the plan all along. But just be honest about it. The massive effort to pretend like what's going on actually isn't is the annoying part.