Kind of hard to picture Big Z in any uniform but Cleveland’s. But the tough week for that city continues.
Zydrunas Ilgauskas is going to sign a deal to join the Miami Heat, according to Brian Windhorst of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Terms of the deal are not yet public.
Along with Juwan Howard, Ilgauskas becomes the second older big man the Heat have locked up in 24 hours. Both are pretty slow at this point, but both also have some shooting skills and a few veteran tricks up their sleeves. Be warned, though Big Z saw considerable fall of in his game last year, with his shooting percentage falling 30 points and his rebounding and other numbers dropping as well. Still, he can give the heat some decent minutes and be a big body in the paint they need to defend the rim.
With the Superfriends in place, these kind of signings are what is left for the Heat, and if these guys can stay healthy it is a big boost.
Length of the deal is the big question, Big Z will turn 36 next season. That didn’t stop the Lakers from giving Derek Fisher a three-year deal, but that doesn’t mean the Heat should replicate that effort.
With so much focus in recent weeks being on NBA players speaking out on social issues, it’s worth remembering that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been one of the most vocal athletes in America on these things for decades. The Hall of Fame and all-time leading scorer in NBA history addressed the Democratic National Convention on Thursday evening, urging voters to vote for Hillary Clinton in November, and opened his remarks by introducing himself as Michael Jordan, because “Donald Trump couldn’t tell the difference.”
You can watch the video of his speech below:
In the weeks since Kevin Durant announced he was signing with the Golden State Warriors, we have yet to hear Russell Westbrook speak on his former teammate’s decision. This week, ESPN.com’s Royce Young indicated in a podcast interview that Durant was telling Westbrook and others in the days leading up to his decision that he was coming back to Oklahoma City. He later walked back his report, saying he misspoke. On Thursday, Durant himself told The Vertical‘s Shams Charania that he never said any such thing, or misled Westbrook or anyone else about his intentions.
“It’s false,” Durant told The Vertical on Thursday. “I didn’t say that – words about me telling Russell or Nick that I would stay or leave never came out of my mouth. We met as teammates, but no promises came out of it. In this day and age, I can’t control anything people claim out there. Someone can go out and say something random right now, and people will believe it.
“I never told Russell or Nick [Collison], ‘All right, guys, I’m coming back to the Thunder’ – and then a week later, I decide not to. Never happened. I don’t operate like that. I heard people say that story, but it’s not the truth.”
So that settles that.
CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bulls have signed guard Spencer Dinwiddie.
The Bulls acquired Dinwiddie in a trade with Detroit last month and waived him three weeks ago. He spent two years with the Pistons and appeared in 12 games last season, averaging 4.8 points and 13.3 minutes.
The Bulls announced the move Thursday.