HoopsHype Zydrunas Ilgauskas rumors

July 6, 2011 Updates

Exercising his contact option for $1.4 million was a way of buying time, Ilgauskas said as he watched batting practice with his two young sons, Deividas and Povilas. “I just want to keep my options open,” he said. “Nobody knows what’s going to happen with the season. I figure we’ll take it one day at a time, see how my back is.” South Florida Sun-Sentinel

June 28, 2011 Updates

If Riley is taken at his word, the Heat might already be set for next season at center, with Zydrunas Ilgauskas recently invoking his opt-in clause for 2011-12 and with Joel Anthony and Dexter Pittman under contract for next season. "When I had my exit meeting with him, I didn't know where all the talk was coming from, where all the retirement talk was coming from," Riley said of Ilgauskas, 36. "He's been around a long time; he's a very proud player. I think he's got a lot left in the tank as to how he plays. "I encouraged him not to retire, because I still think he can help somebody, and I want that somebody to be us. I don't want him to be down the road, or up the road, or across the street." South Florida Sun-Sentinel

June 24, 2011 Updates

Ira Winderman: Riley expects Big Z not to retire. "I personally think he has a lot left in his tank. We are planning to have him on the roster next year." Twitter

June 22, 2011 Updates
June 19, 2011 Updates
June 1, 2011 Updates
May 31, 2011 Updates

Ilgauskas, however, does not want to make his New York his full-time home with the Knicks. Ilgauskas has a player option for next season and told The Post he’ll either retire or stay in South Florida, despite the Knicks’ desperate need for a big center. “I’ve uprooted my family enough,’’ said Ilgauskas, who has two young kids, ages 7 and 6. New York Post

Sources say Ilgauskas has lost his passion for the NBA life. In the Chicago conference finals, the Lithuania native did not play. Against Boston, in the second round, Ilgauskas played in four games, starting three of them, for a total of 36 minutes. He started all five games vs. Philadelphia in the first round. With the size of Dallas, maybe Ilgauskas gets another shot but said he’s not worried. A ring will still mean the same. New York Post

Now James is closer to a title than he has ever been, making his first trip to the NBA finals since 2007, and with a much stronger supporting cast — including a sidekick (Dwyane Wade) who has already won an NBA finals MVP. So what if he wins? Will he start winning in the court of public opinion again? “Everywhere else but Northeast Ohio, yes,” said Ilgauskas, the 15-year veteran who joined James in Miami. “Because the move, it makes sense. He said it was hard to leave home, he didn’t want to leave, but it was all about the winning. He wanted to win, and this presented the best opportunity. So if that comes true, then there’s not much you can say. Because he got the job done, it puts a stamp on it.” MSNBC.com

May 28, 2011 Updates

After the Heat lost 106-95 in Dallas to drop to 9-8 on the season, the players closed the door and held a 45-minute meeting. Some, including this writer, downplayed the significance. But it’s been hard to argue with the aftermath. “We just relaxed a little bit,” Zydrunas Ilgauskas said. “Everybody was so tense, everybody was worried about the crazy predictions coming into the year, 82-0, not lose a game. We started slow, haven’t played together a lot, learning each other. More than anything, it helped us calm down, just play basketball. At that point, we knew we were not going to get the Bulls’ record, just worry about the little things, get our defense better, see how we can move the ball better.” Palm Beach Post

May 26, 2011 Updates
May 16, 2011 Updates
April 23, 2011 Updates

Q: Assuming Miami signs a new starting center this summer, who will end up being the odd-man-out in the rotation? Haslem is expected to be healthy and will probably share a lot of minutes down low with Bosh. So between Joel, who has played great lately, and Pittman, who has already been promised minutes next season, which one gets left out of the rotation or traded away? — Fernando. A: Pittman has been promised nothing, with his contract not even guaranteed for next season. Besides that, there should be plenty of time for everyone, with Dampier and Magloire almost assuredly not back and Ilgauskas likely retiring. South Florida Sun-Sentinel

April 9, 2011 Updates
April 3, 2011 Updates
April 1, 2011 Updates

No matter how the NBA league office eventually rules on whether to suspend John Wall after his second-quarter altercation with Miami Heat center Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Coach Flip Saunders said the incident probably never should’ve reach the point where there were three ejections and two technical fouls. Wall said he swung at Ilgauskas in reaction to getting hit in the face with two elbows. “What I was disappointed in, you would think, you would hope out there, in a game, that when a guy throws two elbows and then a third, they would catch the first one, with three referees out there. And he’s got the ball. That’s what they’re watching, you know,” Saunders said with a chuckle. “If you nip it in the bud right away, it doesn’t escalate like that.” Washington Post

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