Jul 7, 2011, 10:31 PM EST
A couple weeks ago, before the lockout kicked in, Zydrunas Ilgauskas picked up his $1.4 million option with the Miami Heat for next season.
That doesn’t mean he’s going to play with the Heat. The floor-stretching center hasn’t decided yet, he told the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
“If I play, it will be in Miami,” Big Z told me Tuesday night at Sun Life Stadium, before throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at the Phillies-Marlins game. “Right now I’m just kind of on the fence.”
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.”
It’s not really a matter of the money with the Heat, it’s the roster spot. Ilgauskas — unless he’s back fully healthy and playing like the guy from 2008, which is unlikely at age 36 — is not going to help the Heat much. That roster spot could go to someone more useful to a Heat squad that was close but (among other things) needs a little more depth.
But, with the lockout lasting a couple more months at least, Big Z is in no rush to decide. Nor should he be.
- PBT’s Wednesday NBA Winners/Losers: Ettore Messina making history for Spurs 1
- LeBron James, Cavaliers have kind of game they need to replicate blowing out Wizards 5
- Gregg Popovich to miss game following ‘minor medical procedure’ 7
- PBT Extra: Anthony Davis’s MVP-level play, the Spurs and things to be thankful for 7
- Report: Knicks worried Carmelo Anthony’s back issue may be season-long concern 11
- Report: Lakers working on a one-year deal with Earl Clark 13
- Tom Thibodeau says Derrick Rose ‘didn’t re-injure himself’ after playing just 10 minutes in loss to Nuggets 20
- Lakers granted $4.85 million disabled-player exception for Steve Nash injury 13