NBA Daily Dribbles: The Ilgauskas and the Odyssey

Pat DeCola@Pat_DeColaCorrespondent IFebruary 25, 2010

What I’m Reading

• Start lining up the suitors for Zydrunas Ilgauskas. This could get ugly .

• The sale of the Bobcats is expected to be completed in the next three days, possibly as early as today. They might even have a former Dunk Contest embarrassment soon, to boot.

• Gilbert Arenas’ sentencing is fast-approaching. The Wizards don’t plan on making any concrete decisions regarding  the suspended superstar until after March 26.

• Aren’t players supposed to improve as their NBA experience grows? Not according to Andris Biedrins.

What I Think About It

Zydrunas Ilgauskas

Having literally written a check to the Wizards for $1.5 million to secure his buyout, Ilgauskas is now free from Washington’s grasp.

Since he’s a free man, he’s also free to immediately sign with any team. Except his former squad Cleveland.

He’ll have to wait 30 days from the day the trade was finalized to be back in Ohio.

Until then, expect Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, and Utah to court the heck out of him and try to change his mind on the matter. As it stands right now, he has no doubt that he’s going to re-sign with the Cavs on March 21.

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When all is said and done, he should be back in Cleveland. In the meantime, the NBA should document this thirty day courtship and parlay it into next season’s edition of “The Bachelor.”


I fully expect Michael Jordan to be announced as the new majority owner of the Bobcats by next week.

It appears that he’s been trying to get other investors to take the dive with him, and let’s be serious—who can say no to MJ? I know I can’t. Just two days ago I went tagless.

Charlotte is actually an easier sell right now that they have been in their entire history, giving that it’s nearly March and they are still fighting for a playoff spot. They have never finished a season with more than 35 wins (2008-2009 ) and they have a very realistic chance to top that this season.

They made a great move for the surly Tyrus Thomas, who has seemed eager to shed his reputation and start to contribute positively.

They’re also on the path to getting close to signing combo guard Larry Hughes, who was waived by the Sacramento Kings earlier this week after being traded by the Knicks. Hughes is currently sidelined for a few more weeks with an injured finger but will add immediate backcourt depth to a depleted Bobcats squad.

Gilbert Arenas

So the future isn’t terribly grim for Arenas.

"We need him to act like a mature adult and we need evidence that he's ready to do that, and there is some," Pollin said in an interview with Comcast Sports Net. "Let's wait and see over the next month or so."

I am far from anything resembling a legal expert, but barring any sentence that would extend past the summer and into the NBA season, I’d bet that Gil will be back with the Wiz next season.

Will he be playing on opening night? Well, no I don’t think so.

He’s still suspended indefinitely. There’s a likely chance that shortly after the sentencing David Stern will put a finalized date on when he’ll be eligible to play again.

In all likelihood, Arenas’ suspension will extend well into the 2010-2011 NBA season.  

Andris Biedrins

Biedrins has shown significant improvement since he entered the league as a green 18-year-old from Latvia.

He even mustered up healthy double-double numbers of 11.9/11.2 last season at age twenty-two.

Everything seemed to be heading in the right direction for young Andris, but this season has presented the 6’11, skinny-as-a-rail, center with insurmountable challenges.

Warriors coach Don Nelson seems to have lost all faith in his project, saying "I've bent over backwards with (Biedrins) trying to be positive," after Wednesday's practice, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. "Whatever he's going through, he's not the same player this year as the last couple—or the same player that got him the big contract. Whatever it is, he's got to get the passion back. I can't do that."

To me, Biedrins just sounds like a shy European lacking the confidence that he had started to build. Where it went? I’m not too sure.

Although I have a gut feeling that his current 13 percent FT shooting percentage * might be tied in somehow, I can’t be scientifically sure.

*If Biedrins finishes the season under 19.4 percent, he’ll have successfully (unsuccessfully?) completed the worst season of free throw shooting in the history of the NBA.


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