After missing all but 31 games last season with a torn tendon in his right ankle, Anderson Varjeao has come back this year to play some of the best basketball of his career so far. Through these first 11 games he’s averaging just about a double-double with 9.5 points and 11.2 rebounds in 31 minutes of work per night, and he seems to be developing some real on-court chemistry with Cavs rookie Kyrie Irving too. He’s averaging those types of numbers as a Power Forward starting at the Center position as well, and because of all those reasons and more Anderson Varejao is a player that plenty of contending teams in this League have probably at least thought about trying to trade for lately.
But according to Bob Finnan of the News-Herald on Sunday, Byron Scott says Anderson Varejao isn’t getting traded:
Varejao heard some encouraging words while he was on the trip. Scott said for all intents and purposes, the Cavs were not going to trade Varejao this year.
“It’s a good thing when your coach says something like that,” Varejao said. “It helps you a lot. You can just focus on basketball. I’m happy here and I want to stay here.”
Varejao has hauled in 10 or more rebounds on every game during the road trip, the longest streak of his career. That includes a 17-rebound performance against Phoenix last Thursday. He’s also second in the NBA with 4.8 offensive rebounds per game.
“He’s playing fantastic,” Scott said. “He’s rebounding the ball extremely well on both ends of the floor. He just plays with that energy that you love to see out there on the floor. He plays so hard every single night, every single second or minute that he’s on the floor.
“He’s meant the world to the team on both ends of the floor. He’s given us everything we expected and more.”
My take on the trade Anderson Varejao debate is the same one I mentioned last week. I don’t believe the Cavaliers are “shopping him” in any capacity right now. I believe Byron Scott is and was genuine when offering the above quote to the media, and I don’t want to see Anderson Varejao stop wearing a Cleveland Cavaliers uniform and playing for this team personally either. I still find it hard to believe that there won’t be multiple teams coming in at the trade deadline trying to blow Chris Grant away with a trade package for Varejao though. Even if Chris had been icing their previous calls repeatedly in the months leading up to the deadline.
With this compacted, Lockout shortened, kinda odd season, there will be a few teams who end up thinking that they’ll never have a chance as good as the one they have right now to make a serious push towards a title. I think a couple of those teams might go crazy as a result too. Anderson will be playing too well at that point for teams to not think he’d be the guy they needed specifically to upgrade their front-court, and I think they’re going to offer a ridiculous trade package in exchange for him in response. So if he does get traded, it will be a decision made for the Cavaliers based on what they’re offered in return, as opposed to a decision necessarily made by them. We’ll see what happens in a couple months though.
Cavs tip off at 2pm today to celebrate Martin Luther King Day. We’ll check back in here after the game.