Anderson Varejao is expected to be sidelined through the February 21st trade deadline, meaning that the standout forward likely will remain in Cleveland for the remainder of the year. The struggling Cavs could conceivably use other assets to get a healthy piece for the future, but Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal writes that league executives and agents around the league are convinced the Cavaliers won’t do anything to jeopardize their ability to sign a free agent to a max contract in the summer after next season.
Of course, 2014 is the summer where LeBron James can again become a free agent if he exercises his player option. While it may seem farfetched for a number of reasons, more and more people around the league believe there is a strong possibility James will return to Cleveland after next season.
If the Cavs feel strongly about keeping their financial flexibility for that offseason, then they won’t pull the trigger on any players with three-year deals. The Cavs may not be stacked with assets, but they do have Luke Walton’s $6MM expiring contract and about $10MM in cap space to dangle to teams looking to move long-term commitments. In a largely cap-conscious league, those two things could fetch a significant piece in a trade, but it sounds as though the Cavs are looking for something much bigger.