Wednesday , Nov , 07 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Cleveland Cavaliers Winning Battle Against Anderson Varejao, Could Lose War For LeBron James

Win the battle, lose the war. That’s how things could shape up for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Eastern Conference champs are trying to outwait Anderson Varejao, hoping he’ll fold and sign a multi-year deal. The Brazilian is a restricted free agent and an indefinite holdout won’t change his status as Cleveland’s property …

Marty Burns of CNNSI.com explains why Cleveland had no interest in Anderson Varejao’s one eyar, five million dollar offer:

But the Cavs apparently have no interest. By signing Varejao to a one-year deal now, he would have the right to walk away as an unrestricted free agent next summer and leave Cleveland with nothing to show for it. The Cavs were burned by Carlos Boozer a few years ago, and might be fearful of a repeat of that situation.

In addition, if the Cavs sign Varejao to a one-year deal, they would lose the ability to trade him this season.

My Quick Take: Win the battle, lose the war. That’s how things could shape up for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Eastern Conference champs are trying to outwait Anderson Varejao, hoping he’ll fold and sign a multi-year deal. He is a restricted free agent and an indefinite holdout won’t change his status as Cleveland‘s property.

The Cavs hold all the cards. They’ll win the battle and eventually ink their pesky forward to a new contract.

LeBron James, Cleveland‘s superstar, has been following negotiations. A few weeks back, he even complained publicly about Varejao and Sasha Pavlovic being unsigned.

"We are missing two key guys right now and we can’t afford to waste much time," he said. "They’re very important to our team."

Pavlovic, of course, recently scored a new contract. But the real issue is James’ future. Can the Cavaliers win the war and convince him to stay in Cleveland long-term?

In this negotiation, the shoe is very much on the other foot. James not only holds all the cards, but the game, deck, dealer, and casino are all stacked in his favor.

Following the 2009-2010 season, the King can exercise an early opt-out clause and become an unrestricted free agent. He could then sign with any NBA team. The Cavaliers would get nothing in return.

This will become an issue. Consider how Kevin Garnett and Kobe Bryant’s opt-out clauses have changed the NBA landscape.

James’ situation is no different. Surrounding him with a poor supporting cast could force him to bolt town. The Cavaliers must be careful. Varejao is one of James’ favorite teammates, so a prolonged negotiation would leave a bad taste in their superstar’s mouth.

Winning the battle against Varejao could contribute to losing the war for James. Is it worth it?

Should the Cavs appease James and sign Varejao long-term? Get at us in the comment below with your thoughts.

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