Anderson Varejao to Warriors: Latest Contract Details, Analysis and Reaction

Adam WellsFeatured Columnist

Nov 2, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward Anderson Varejao (17) before action against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

After spending nearly 12 seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Anderson Varejao will don the Golden State Warriors' uniform after agreeing to a deal Sunday. 

According to Marc Stein of ESPN, "sources say Anderson Varejao has indeed finalized his expected deal with Golden State at the veteran minimum for the rest of the season."

Chris Haynes of shared an exchange he had with the big man:

To make room for Varejao, the Warriors cut forward Jason Thompson, a source told Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports. 

The Warriors officially announced the signing on Monday:

Varejao was a fan favorite in Cleveland for years, winning two Eastern Conference titles with the team in 2007 and 2015. He became one of the Cavaliers' best players when healthy after LeBron James went to the Miami Heat, averaging a double-double in points and rebounds in back-to-back seasons from 2011-12 to 2012-13. 

The problem is Varejao has rarely been healthy since the 2009-10 season. He has missed 243 games during that span, prompting the Cavaliers to trade him to the Portland Trail Blazers at this year's deadline. 

The Trail Blazers immediately waived Varejao on Thursday, making him a free agent. Spears reported Varejao was "shocked" about being dealt, but he added the 33-year-old was "in no rush" to make a decision despite receiving "moderate interest." 

Stein added that Varejao's market increased once David Lee and Steve Novak found new homes. Lee was expected to sign with the Dallas Mavericks, per Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News, and Novak was expected to head to the Milwaukee Buckssources told Stein. The Mavericks and the Bucks each announced their move Monday.

Enough time has passed for Varejao to make up his mind, and it seems he hit the jackpot by joining the NBA's best team. 

Stein reported Golden State's interest in Varejao stems from the team's need for an extra big man after Festus Ezeli required knee surgery in February.      

The Warriors are as close to a perfect team as there is in the NBA, so they likely didn't have to make any moves to win a championship.   

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said, per Stein, that he's unaware of anything involving Varejao before adding, "It makes perfect sense, right?"

Varejao couldn't have planned this scenario any better, even though Cleveland is the only home he's ever known. He goes from the best team in the Eastern Conference to the league's best team, getting a chance to capture his first NBA title. 

While health hasn't been Varejao's friend for years, he's still a 6'11" big man who can produce when on the court. Last season in Cleveland, he averaged 9.8 points and 6.5 rebounds in 26 games. 

As long as Varejao is able to contribute in the majority of games remaining on the schedule for the Warriors, he can make an impact. His skills aren't what they used to be, but he can play in the paint and grab rebounds as a source of depth.