NBA Rumors: Trading Anderson Varejao Is Cleveland Cavaliers' Only Option

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistDecember 24, 2012

MILWAUKEE, WI - NOVEMBER 3: Anderson Varejao #17 of the Cleveland Cavaliers runs up the court during the game against the Milwaukee Bucks at Bradley Center on November 3, 2012 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 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 Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)
Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

Despite the amazing year Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Anderson Varejao is having at both ends of the court, the veteran should not be part of the long-term plans of the franchise.

Cleveland must build for the future by trading the 30-year-old Varejao.

While the NBA trade market is hot and Varejao’s stock is as high as it has ever been, the Cavaliers must send the veteran to the highest bidder and continue to build on their excellent core of young stars.

Instead of trying to win now with Varejao, the caliber of talent and draft picks the organization would acquire in a deal for the veteran would help surround its young stars like Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters and Tristan Thompson and benefit the team for years.

According to Alex Kennedy of, not only is the play of the Cavaliers forward drawing interest, the fact that the veteran’s contract isn’t outrageous is a huge selling point:

There are plenty of teams calling the Cavaliers about Varejao because not only is he having an All-Star season, he also has a very reasonable contract. This season, Varejao is making just $8.4 million, next season he’ll make $9.1 million and the following year he has a $9.8 million team option.

Varejao is averaging over 14 points, over 14 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game along with a .755 free-throw percentage, and he has been one of the most consistent players of 2012. As hard as it will be for Cleveland to sell this trade to the fans, this move is all about the future.

While the veteran is currently recovering from a knee injury (h/t The Plain Dealer), the biggest factor in making the potential trade happen is the money owed to the power forward.

With a manageable contract tied to a serious talent like Varejao, every team in playoff contention will be willing to part with valuable trade chips in order to get the star on its roster.

The Cavaliers are in the driver’s seat in the negotiation process.

Any team in the hunt for a top spot in the playoffs or fighting to get into postseason contention will be at least calling Cleveland to see what the organization is asking for Varejao.

As much as the Cavaliers would like to get a few young players in a potential deal, the team is more likely to get just one player of note and a plethora of draft picks.

That’s the right move for a team with a very bright future.


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