It’s been four years since Anderson Varejao played in an NBA game, but it appears the veteran center is coming back to the league.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Varejao is expected to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers for the remainder of the season, likely to provide frontcourt depth.
To say this came out of nowhere would be an understatement. Varejao wasn’t even on the NBA radar, having last appeared for the Golden State Warriors in the 2016-17 season. The 38-year-old last played professionally in Brazil in 2018-19. We’d heard chatter that he might want to return to Cleveland, but that was two years ago.
Varejao was a favorite among Cleveland fans, putting together a long and successful career with the Cavaliers between 2004 and 2016. He probably won’t contribute much this season, but it’ll be nostalgic for some just to see him suiting up for the team.
Anderson Varejao may be a forgotten man these days, but he is hoping that his longtime NBA club has not forgotten about him.
Speaking with The Athletic’s Joe Vardon in an interview this weekend, the Brazilian big man, who is competing for his home country at the FIBA World Cup this year, expressed interest in returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“I am focused on the World Cup and trying to do my best with Brazil and trying to help Brazil accomplish something big,” said Varejao. “But it wouldn’t be bad to come back to Cleveland.”
Vardon was quick to clarify though that the Cavs have not shown any interest in bringing back the 36-year-old, and in any case, Varejao was envisioning a role as an end-of-bench mentor for the team’s young players.
The former All-Defensive Second Teamer played 12 of his 13 NBA seasons in Cleveland but was traded away in 2016, missing out on his opportunity to win a championship with them. He averaged 1.3 points and 1.9 rebounds per game for the Golden State Warriors the last he played in the 2016-17 season.
The Cavs previously had interest in bringing back Varejao during the latter part of the LeBron James era, and with the team in a rebuilding phase, it remains to be seen whether they will consider the proposition again.
The greatest homecoming in Cleveland Cavaliers history may soon be upon us.
The Cavs announced on Sunday that they have waived guard DeAndre Liggins, putting their roster at 14 players. In light of the announcement, Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com adds that Anderson Varejao is among the names being considered for the open roster spot.
Varejao, 34, played the first 12 years of his NBA career in Cleveland, becoming a fan favorite. He was traded by the team in 2016 and proceeded to sign with the rival Golden State Warriors, who ironically lost to the Cavs in last year’s Finals. Varejao was ultimately offered a championship ring by Cleveland, but he turned it down and was finally waived by Golden State last February.
Liggins was only seeing 6.7 minutes per game post-All Star break, so even if Varejao isn’t good for much on the court anymore, the Cavs might be able to afford trying to finally complete his character arc.
Sideshow Andy could be coming to an NBA team near you!
Veteran big man Anderson Varejao has cleared waivers and is now a free agent, per Chris B. Haynes of ESPN. The 34-year-old was waived by Golden State on Friday so they could sign undrafted guard Briante Weber.
It’s unclear what kind of interest Varejao, who is averaging just 1.3 points and 1.9 rebounds in 6.6 minutes per game this season, might attract. He’s not really a functional NBA player anymore and is probably closer to a vaudeville performer these days. But veteran frontcourt depth will never go out of style, especially now that buyout and 10-day contract season is just about upon us. And what a storyline it would be if Varejao were to reunite with this longtime former team of his.
He may not be much more than a walking sideshow these days, but credit to Anderson Varejao for wanting to earn his keep.
According to a report by Sam Amico of Amico Hoops on Sunday, Varejao is eligible to receive a ring from the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 2016 NBA Championship victory but has no plans to do so after finishing the season with the Golden State Warriors.
The 33-year-old Varejao is in an interesting position, having played the first 12 years of his career in Cleveland and beginning the 2015-16 season on their roster, thus qualifying him to receive a championship ring. But he was traded by the Cavs last February and ultimately signed with the Warriors, who were, ironically, the very team that the Cavs defeated in the NBA Finals. In doing so, he became the first-ever player in NBA history to play for both Finals teams in the same season.
As such, there was some talk before the series that Varejao might already be guaranteed a ring either way. But in the end, the Brazilian big man is voluntarily choosing to take the high road instead of accepting a symbolic ring that he didn’t really earn (unless you’re of the school of thought that Varejao’s abysmal play for the Warriors in the Finals actually helped win the title for Cleveland, which is a valid argument to make).
For Varejao, who just re-signed with Golden State on a one-year deal, perhaps his refusal to accept indicates a sense of confidence that he’ll be able to legitimately win his own championship ring come next season.
H/T NBA Reddit
As if the Warriors weren’t already going to be enough of a spectacle next season, now they are set to bring back their resident circus performer.
According to a report by Marc Stein of ESPN on Thursday, Golden State is nearing an agreement to re-sign 12-year NBA veteran big man Anderson Varejao to a one-year deal.
The 33-year-old Brazilian signed with the Warriors in February and was a part of the frontcourt rotation during their latest NBA Finals run. While Varejao was good for some comic relief in the playoffs with his air-dancing antics, he is really more of a gimmick player at this stage of his career. No longer capable of making a worthwhile contribution to winning basketball, Varejao’s bumbling presence on the floor during Games 5, 6, and 7 of the Finals ultimately helped win the championship for the Cavaliers.
Varejao might not be totally horrendous at the veteran’s minimum. But with a grand total of 2.6 points per game and 2.3 rebounds per game for the Dubs last season, hopefully, for their sake, they won’t have to rely on Varejao to play meaningful minutes any longer.
Apparently NBA referees haven’t caught on yet to Anderson Varejao’s tactics.
Late in the first quarter of Game 5 between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday, Varejao got tangled with Matthew Dellavedova and fell down.
Unfortunately Delly was called for the foul, because as announcer Jeff Van Gundy said, the foul should have been on him if anything.
Warriors big man Anderson Varejao may have only seen the floor for all of two minutes during the Warriors’ Game 7 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday. But he may have emerged the biggest winner of all.
With the Warriors advancing to the NBA Finals for a rematch with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Varejao, who played the first 12 years of his NBA career with the Cavs and started the 2015-16 season with them, could already be guaranteed an NBA championship ring no matter how the series plays out.
The 33-year-old Varejao had been with Cleveland since his rookie season in 2004, but was unceremoniously traded to the Blazers in February to make room for the Cavaliers to acquire Channing Frye. Varejao was promptly waived by Portland and wound up signing with the Warriors.
Varejao is apparently the first player in NBA history to play for both Finals teams in the same season, per the Elias Sports Bureau.
The Brazilian has yet to win a championship in his decade-plus of NBA existence. While he would obviously get a ring should the Warriors repeat as NBA champions, if Cleveland emerges victorious, they could still give Varejao a symbolic ring given his longtime service to the Cavs and the fact that he began the year with them.
For an aging veteran who has played a grand total of 52 minutes so far this postseason, it’s not a bad deal at all.
Image Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
The fireworks have been set off right from the get-go in the second-round series between the Golden State Warriors and the Portland Trail Blazers.
In the third quarter of Sunday’s Game 1 victory for the Dubs at Oracle Arena, Blazers swingman Gerald Henderson made contact with Warriors big man Anderson Varejao away from the ball. Varejao responded by kicking his leg up and appearing to intentionally trip Henderson, something Henderson did not respond kindly to as he sprung up and got right in Varejao’s face.
Here is video of the incident:
The two were assessed double technical fouls for the play and were subsequently ejected by official Monty McCutchen after they continued to exchange words from a distance, per Jason Quick of CSNNW.
The Blazers looked overmatched for most of the afternoon, shooting just 40.2 percent from the field as a team and getting outrebounded by a margin of 55-40. But if the underrated “Gerald Henderson vs. the world” subplot can light a fire underneath them for the remainder of the series, more power to them.
Video via NBA Reddit
Do you think the Cleveland Cavaliers would have traded away Anderson Varejao had they known the Golden State Warriors would end up picking him up? Probably not.
Varejao signed with the Warriors on Sunday after clearing waivers. Varejao had been with the Cavaliers his entire career until being traded to Portland as part of a deal where the Cavs acquired Channing Frye prior to the deadline.
The addition by the Warriors comes at a good time as they are banged up in the frontcourt. Andrew Bogut has a knee issue and Festus Ezeli is out after getting his knee scoped.
Varejao may have only been playing limited minutes with the Cavs, but several top teams were interested in him, including the Spurs and Thunder in addition to Golden State. The Warriors waived Jason Thompson to make room for Varejao.
Varejao seems excited about the move. He posted a photo of the Warriors’ logo on Facebook Sunday, along with this message:
“Golden State Fans, excited for the opportunity do join you! Honored to join a great organization and I promise to give you my very best to contribute in every way I can! #18”
You better believe that after being dropped by Cleveland, he couldn’t have found a better home than Golden State. He may end up winning a championship after all of this, which is a nice consolation after being discarded by the Cavs.