Saturday , Dec , 15 , 2012 Paul Eide

Anderson Varejao Having Career Year, Trade Imminent?

Anderson Varejao is having as quiet a career year as an NBA player can have.

HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: Varejao has turned into a tantilizing piece of trade bait.



Productive big men are hard to find in the NBA, and their value increases exponentially during the end of the season and into the playoffs as games typically become more rugged and defensive focus is increased. And the 5-19 Cavs need help at multiple positions. Put those two things together, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a trade.

Varejao has always been thought of as somewhat of a joke. When he first entered the league he was seen as soft; a typical big man developed outside of the US who lacked strength and got by on finesse, even though he was 6-10. Complicating the situation was his hair- it sounds stupid (and it is), but it reinforced the idea of him as only a finesse player and led to a million "Sideshow Bob" jokes, some of which, are mildly funny.

Another thing that altered the general perception of Varejao was a seemingly underserved contract extension that he received after the 2008-09 season. The six year, $42 million dollar deal was seen as strange because to that point in his five year NBA career, he had only averaged 6.3 ppg and 6.3 rpg. Plus, the rumors about LeBron leaving had already been swirling for a while and the extension was seen as indicative of how disconnected Cleveland management had become.

Now in his ninth year, Varejao is currently leading the NBA in rebounding with a gaudy 14.9 per game average. He has had 15 double-doubles in 23 starts this season. He is also averaging a career high 14.0 ppg.

There is some concern about Varejao’s injury history. Last season he played in only 25 games due to a broken right wrist in the beginning of February. The previous season, he played in only 31 games after tearing a tendon in his ankle in early January. But even then, we’re talking about teams making a late season push.

But his low salary ($9 million next year, $9.7 the following year) and the success he’s had makes him much more of a bargain even with the injury concerns. Since 1970-71, 14 players for a total of 25 times have averaged at least 14 points and 15 rebounds in a season. Kevin Love was the last to do it in 2010-11.

"If it happens, it happens," Varejao said about a potential trade. "There’s nothing I can do. I can’t control that. I cannot control that."

So where will he end up? Oklahoma City is a name that keeps popping up. But, what if the Cavs decide to keep him for the same reasons they could potentially trade him?

If you were Dan Gilbert, would you trade Anderson Varejao or keep him?


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