Ilgauskas to play vs. Heat, Sasha will rest

Zydrunas Ilgauskas practiced with the team today and is expected to play at Miami on Sunday, the team said.

Sasha Pavlovic will miss his second straight game because of flu-like symptoms. Damon Jones who missed the last two games is doubtful because of strep throat. He has missed the last two games

Michael Malone to join Canadian men’s basketball team

Michael Malone, an assistant with the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, is joining the coaching staff of the Canadian men’s basketball team.Malone will be an assistant to head coach Leo Rautins. Malone is in his second season with the Cavs after spending the previous two years with the New York Knicks as a coaching associate. Prior to going to New York, Malone spent seven seasons in the U.S. college ranks, serving his final two years as a lead assistant at Manhattan College.

“He has a great basketball background and is a person whose input and knowledge I trust,” Rautins said Wednesday in a statement. “I know he will fit in seamlessly with our staff and coaching philosophies.”

The Canadians play their first game of the 2007 season July 25 at the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro.

“I have known Leo since he was coached by my father at Syracuse University and I am eager to work with him and his existing coaching staff on the international basketball scene,” said Malone, who is the son of veteran NBA coach Brendan Malone.

The Cavs are looking at Pippen, free agents buyouts

Hopes for adding a piece to the Cavaliers roster aren’t totally dead.

A new player acquisition period runs through March 1st. Players at the end of their contracts often ask to be let out of their deals at this time of year. No players publicly have asked to be let out, but that sort of talk happens every year at this time.

The Cavs are also considering Pippen. Sources said the Cavs are one of the teams that have contacted Pippen and might consider working him out within the next week or so.

Pippen showed interest in the Cavs but he wants to play for a contender and preferred the Heat, who are near his Fort Lauderdale, Fla., home.

More News on Mike Bibby

Mike BibbyThe Cavaliers spent the early part of today trying to acquire Bibby in a multi-team deal that would have left Sacramento with power forward Drew Gooden, point guard Marcus Banks (via Phoenix) and the expiring contract of center Scot Pollard, whose $2.2 million comes off the books this summer according to SI.

Earlier this morning, a report by the East Valley Tribute confirms that the Cavaliers have showed interest in Marcus Banks whose making $20 million over the next four years. Phoenix might be willing to move him as a way to shed payroll without getting anything back.

Geoff Petrie, Sacramento president is willing to trade Bibby only if he nets the expiring money that will enable the Kings to be free-agent players this summer, in addition, of course, to one or more draft picks and one or more young players.

Danny Ferry must now find a way to lure in one or more expiring contracts instead of or in addition to Pollard’s. A few of the possible suspects include:

• Jamaal Magloire ($8.4M), though the Blazers desire a high draft pick.

• P.J. Brown ($8.6M), though the Bulls are unlikely to aid a divisional rival.

• Austin Croshere ($7.3M), though the tax-paying Mavericks would need something delicious in return for the expense.

• Morris Peterson ($4.6M), though the Raptors need someone like him to help them win their first divisional title.

Visions of All-Star Fashion: Deion Shows Damon Jones How It’s Done

That’s Damon Jones and Deion Sanders hanging out doing before the NBA All-Star game. Damon and Deion have a lot in common. They both have loud personalities, they both like attention, they both like to be bold in the area of fashion, both their names start with ‘D’, and both are about of equal value to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Who’s godeion-sanders-damon-jones-2401.jpgt the upper hand in fashion? In this game, I’m rolling with Deion. I love the icy-white hat coordinating with the equally clean untucked white shirt. It looks tremendous underneath the white windowpanes on the slick gray suit. It’s not just bold, it’s well put-together. Deion’s been doing this for a long time.

Damon Jones, meanwhile, is half-steppin’. The wine-colored velvet blazer is absurd, but the entire ensemble isn’t absurd enough. It’s like, “Yes, I want to be outrageous, but I’m not willing to go all the way with it.” He’s paired it with a simple black dress shirt and simple black pants. Commit to it, Damon, or just get out. I expect better from you.