Zydrunas Ilgauskas

The Cleveland Cavaliers today announced that Zydrunas Ilgauskas is joining the team’s front office as Special Assistant to the General Manager. 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.

Ilgauskas was originally drafted by the Cavaliers with the 20th overall pick in the first round of the 1996 NBA Draft. The Lithuanian made his home in Cleveland, playing the first 12 years of his 13-season career with the Cavaliers. The Cavs all-time leader in games played (771), Z also tops the Cavaliers record books in offensive rebounds (2,336), total rebounds (5,904) and blocks (1,269) while ranking second in points (10,616).

“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.”

A two-time all-star (2003, 2005), Ilgauskas finished his career with averages of 13.0 points on .476 shooting, 7.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 27.2 minutes in 843 games (724 starts). The 7-foot-3 center played in six postseasons with the Cavaliers, including playing a major role on the Cavaliers teams that reached at least the second round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs in five consecutive seasons (2006-2010) and made the franchise’s first appearance in the NBA Finals in 2007.