Cleveland Cavaliers Must Keep Anderson Varejao and Ramon Sessions

Patrick ForteCorrespondent IFebruary 9, 2012

PHOENIX, AZ - JANUARY 12:  Anderson Varejao #17 of the Cleveland Cavaliers in action during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on January 12, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

With most NBA teams about 25 games into this shortened season, everyone has a sense of where they stand from a competitive standpoint. It's around this time of the year that the rumors started circling around, and the Cleveland Cavaliers have two notable players whose names have been flying around the rumor mill: Anderson Varejao (from ESPN's Marc Stein) and Ramon Sessions (from Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski).

However, one thing's for sure: The Cleveland Cavaliers should not trade either Varejao or Sessions. 

First of all, the Cavaliers are surprisingly competitive this year.  They currently sit a half game out of the eighth seed in the playoffs, and have impressive wins over teams such as the Los Angeles Clippers and Boston Celtics.  This team wouldn't be nearly as competitive without Varejao or Sessions.  

Second, the Cavaliers have a lot of young talent.  Kyrie Irving is the front-runner for Rookie of the Year honors, and Tristan Thompson has shown flashes of brilliance.  The logic of many front offices is to trade older players for younger players if you already have a young team.

However, this doesn't always work.  In order to help develop young players, they have to be winning. Look at the Washington Wizards or Sacramento Kings.  Both teams have greatly talented young players, but a lack of veterans with a winning pedigree have held back the development of many young players.

Then there's the issue of compensation.  The Cavaliers would probably be looking to get a first-round pick in exchange for either Sessions or Varejao.  With that said, the teams looking to trade for either player are playoff contenders, so their picks will more than likely be later in the first round.  It's always risky to trade a proven commodity for a late first-round draft pick.

Both players are affordable too.  Sessions has a team option for close to $5 million next year, one that he should likely accept.  And Varejao makes between $8-9 million the next two years, with a team option in the third year.  This is a great deal for a center in the NBA today.

Varejao has had a career year for the Cavaliers.   He's fourth in the NBA in rebounding, and was a borderline All-Star candidate this year.  He brings his usual hustle to the game, and contributes on both ends of the floor.  

Sessions is very valuable in backing up Irving as he adapts to the NBA game.  Sessions is able to run the team when Irving is on the bench, and he leads the second unit in scoring.

Overall, the team would be all the wiser to keep Anderson Varejao and Ramon Sessions in Cleveland Cavaliers uniforms.