The Cleveland Cavaliers announced that Zydrunas Ilgauskas has returned to the organization and joined the front office as a Special Assistant to the General Manager.
As reported by WTAM 1100 AM…
The announcement was made today by Cavs General Manager Chris Grant. In his role as Special Assistant to the General Manager, Ilgauskas will be involved with front office responsibilities, including evaluation of amateur and professional prospects.
“We are very pleased to have Z begin the next phase of his basketball career with the Cavaliers and I am looking forward to working closely with him. Z has always had a great desire to learn and succeed and he already has a deep understanding and appreciation of the game and the NBA. We are extremely happy to welcome him back as part of our franchise,” said Grant.
“I am really excited to come back to the Cavaliers, a team that I have so much history with and contributing to our future success,” said Ilgauskas. “I’m also looking forward to learning more about this game that I love so much and working with Chris Grant and the rest of the organization in every way that I can.”
Ilgauskas was originally selected with the 20th pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 1996 NBA Draft. He appeared in 771 career games (673 starts) with the Cleveland Cavaliers over 12 seasons. During his career with Cleveland, he averaged 13.8 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.65 blocks, 1.2 assists and 28.3 minutes, while shooting 47.5 percent from the field and 78.0 percent from the foul line. Ilgauskas was a two-time NBA All-Star (2003 & 2005), and ranked first in Cavaliers history in both offensive rebounds (2,336) and blocks (1,269).
During the 2009-10 season, his last with the Cavs, Ilgauskas averaged 7.4 points, 5.4 rebounds and 20.9 minutes, while shooting 44.3 percent from the field in 64 games (six starts). He recorded double-figure points on 19 occasions and four double-digit rebound games. After a dozen years in Cleveland, Ilgauskas then signed with the Miami Heat along with good friend LeBron James in search of an elusive championship title for what would ultimately turn out to be his final season as a player. After going back and forth about returning this season, Ilgauskas picked up his player option in June to cash in on the second year of his Heat contract but ultimately decided to retire anyway in late September.