As fans have eagerly awaited the buyout news surrounding former center Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Michael Lee of The Washington Post reports that Ilgauskas has come to terms with the Washington Wizards and an announcement is slated to be made today.
Lee, who has been all over this transaction since he broke the news of the original trade that allowed the Cavaliers to acquire forward Antawn Jamison, claims that the move cost Ilgauskas between $1-$1.5 million in buyout money. Upon the official announcement, Ilgauskas would have to clear the 48-hour waiver period and then be free to go to the team of his choosing as an unrestricted free agent. As reported over the past week, teams that are allegedly interested in Ilgauskas continue to be the Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Atlanta Hawks and Utah Jazz.
Despite prior reports to the contrary, Ilgauskas would be allowed to return to the Cavaliers – a team that would also welcome his services over the rest of the season – after March 21st due to the 30-day window that is a part of the trade agreement. Once Ilgauskas becomes a free agent, it becomes fair game to discuss any and all teams. As reported, Atlanta and Utah have the ability to pay Ilgauskas more money than the Cavs via their mid-level exception. Being over the salary cap, Cleveland would be forced to use their bi-annual exception which is just shy of $2 million.
In a text message sent to Lee, Ilgauskas’ agent Herb Rudoy said that he anticipates Ilgauskas to decide his future “by the end of this coming weekend.” Cavaliers beat writer Brian Windhorst has labeled the Cavaliers as “heavy favorites” to acquire the soon-to-be free agent.
(Update: Windhorst reports that the deal is complete. “Signed, sealed, and delivered.”)
(image courtesy of WKNR’s Really Big Show)