Terry Pluto of the Plains Dealer writes that multiple sources report the Cleveland Cavaliers are not seeking trades for veteran big man Anderson Varejao and will not make a deal unless another teams wows them with an offer.
Varejao, 29, is off to a fantastic start this season averaging a double-double at 11 PPG and 11.8 RPG. He is one of the better defensive big men in the NBA, provides value on offense without a high usage or plays being called for him, and at $7.7MM this season is on a reasonable contract.
In short, he is a perfect fit on a near contender looking to for a piece to put them over the top.
The reports could be typical posturing, Varejao has enough value for the Cavaliers to be patient and holdout for the best deal possible, but it would also make sense in the long term for the Cavaliers to deal their best trade asset.
Tristan Thompson, this past summer's no. 4 overall pick, shares similar strengths and weakness with Varejao, making their skill sets redundant and hampering their time together on the court.
Varejao is only 29, but plays a reckless, energetic style of basketball that leaves him susceptible to injury. He is at his peak right now and holding onto him is a gamble that he will still be at or near this level when rookies Thompson and Kyrie Irving enter the beginning of their primes.
Trading Varejao would hurt this season, all but ending the Cavaliers unlikely bid for the Eastern Conference's 8th playoff seed, but in the long run freeing minutes for Thompson and securing another top-10 pick in a deep draft–on top of whatever assets a trade would return–might be in the Cavaliers best long-term interests.