Brian Windhorst, Cavaliers beat writer for the Akron Beacon Journal, has been unable to cover the run-up to the 2008 NBA Draft. He is recuperating from an illness at an area hospital.To read more or comment...
There has been an uptick in Anderson Varejao rumors bouncing around the last couple of days. Today, ESPN's Chad Ford floated one involving the Golden State Warriors. Earlier this week, Beacon Journal columnist Patrick McManamon wrote an excellent column summing up Varejao's situation.
So with all that out there, let me tell you what I know about what has been going on.
--The Cavs have had trade talks with at least five teams about Varejao. But these talks have three sides, the Cavs, the potential trading partner and Varejao's agent, Dan Fegan. Because Andy has to give permission to be traded before Dec. 5 (a stipulation when a player has an offer sheet matched by his team), he must be in the loop before a deal can be done. This permission will be given (he cannot be traded to the Bobcats under any circumstances until Dec.) only if Fegan likes the chances of Varejao getting big minutes and having an important role at his new destination. The reason is this is Varejao's contract year essentially and a big season would mean a chance at the big deal Andy has wanted for a year. I also know that at least one trading partner has already been told "no" by Fegan. I do not know which team, but keep in mind as the Cavs are linked to the Milwaukee Bucks in trade rumors that Fegan also represents Yi Jianlian and probably would not like Varejao and Yi fighting for minutes with one another. --Because of all these moving parts -- there are three different sides able to pitch trades -- any deal involving Varejao will be difficult to pull off right now. The Cavs do not have to trade him and they may wait and let the Dec. 5 deadline pass so they have more freedom. But obviously there is a market for Varejao and with the draft coming up, there's an uptick in trying to get things done. --The Cavs were pleased with how professionally Andy handled playing with Ben Wallace and even went to him and thanked him at the end of the season. But it is clear to both sides that Andy was not happy yielding crunch time minutes to Wallace and that is an issue that may become problematic next season when Varejao starts feeling the heat of playing another contract. With that in mind and the fear of losing Andy for nothing and/or going another 15 rounds with Fegan next summer, it is easy to see why the Cavs are open to trading their only big man under 30. --There are a number of players the Cavs like in this draft. If anything, they are looking to move up in the draft or get a second pick instead of trading out as rumors have suggested. In addition, unless there is another rock solid plan in place, it is doubtful the Cavs would only trade Varejao unless they were getting another big man in return. It is questionable whether they can get an immediately contributing big with the 19th pick and losing Varejao would leave a huge hole because he is the team's only legit backup center. --I'll have more on the draft over the weekend or early next week.