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Archive for Saturday, August 19, 2006

Ex-Jayhawk Pollard signs with Cavaliers

August 19, 2006

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Scot Pollard is taking his blue-collar work ethic and rugged style of play to his fourth NBA team.

"I'm not a pretty player," former Kansas University power forward/center Pollard said Friday after signing a one-year free-agent contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he will play on the same team as ex-Jayhawk Drew Gooden.

Terms of the one-year deal were not announced.

"I go in there and do the dirty work," Pollard said. "I dive on the floor. I take charges. I set screens. I do a lot of things guys don't like doing. I found my niche, and I'm sticking with it."

Pollard, 31, who averaged 3.8 points and 4.8 rebounds last year for the Indiana Pacers, was the 19th player taken (by Detroit) in the 1997 NBA Draft. He also has played for the Pistons and Sacramento Kings.

In Cleveland, the 6-foot-11, 265-pounder is expected to provide toughness and depth as a backup to starting center Zydrunas Ilgauskas. The Cavs shipped backup center Martynas Andriuskevicius to the Chicago Bulls for guard Eddie Basden on Friday.

"I'm a piece to a championship puzzle," Pollard said. "This is definitely a team on the upswing. We've got a chance to be one of the top two or three teams in the East, and we have a legitimate chance to get out of the East."

Pollard - who has been bothered by back problems the past few seasons - has made 460 career starts and appeared in 57 playoff games since being drafted by Detroit.

"Adding Scot to our roster gives us more depth, size, toughness and experience," Cavaliers general manager Danny Ferry said. "We believe Scot can be a valuable contributor to our team as we continue to build a championship level team here in Cleveland."

Pollard played 33 games with the Pistons before being dealt to Atlanta for Christian Laettner. After being waived the Hawks, Pollard signed as a free agent with Sacramento and spent six seasons with the Kings.

He was traded to the Pacers in a three-team deal in 2003. Pollard spent two seasons in Indiana with Cavs coach Mike Brown, who has a complex defensive system.

Pollard, who sometimes wore fingernail polish during games during his career at KU, has had all sorts of hairstyles - sometimes, long, sometimes shot. This summer, he went for a new look.

"I cut all my hair off," he said. "I got tired of taking care of it. Right now, it's a summer cut, but who knows what I might have by the time the season gets here."

Andriuskevicius was a project for the Cavaliers, who acquired the 7-2 Lithuanian last year from Orlando for a second-round draft pick and cash. He played just nine minutes in six games for Cleveland, spending most of the season in the NBA's Developmental League.

"Marty is a young and talented kid, and he made good strides during the past year, but ultimately this trade puts us in a more flexible position with our roster," Ferry said.

Basden, 23, played in 19 games for the Bulls last season, averaging 2.1 points, 1.5 rebounds.

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