Losing Anderson Varejao for a good chunk of the season was a blow to the Cavaliers' on-court prospects and to the team's chances of extracting value for him at the trade deadline, but it wasn't just the Cavs that were adversely affected by Varejao's leg injury. According to ESPN.com's Marc Stein (Twitter link), earning an All-Star berth would have triggered a $1MM bonus in Varejao's contract. Given the big man's strong performance early in the season (14.1 PPG, 14.4 RPG, 22.0 PER), an All-Star berth appeared well within reach before he was sidelined.
Here are a few more Wednesday morning items out of the Central Division:
- Despite a recent report suggesting the Pistons aren't interested in trading Tayshaun Prince, the veteran forward recognizes he's not untouchable, as Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News writes. Still, Prince has no desire to ask the Pistons to trade him: "One day it might hit me. I might get in a position where it's time for me to win one more (championship). To go to a contender-type team. I might go to Joe [Dumars] that day and say, 'It's time for me to move on' and play that route. But now is not the time."
- While he'd been excited to join the Bucks in the offseason, Samuel Dalembert was disappointed by Scott Skiles' use of him — the veteran center is averaging his fewest minutes per game since his rookie year in 2001/02. Dalembert spoke to Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times about his relationship with Skiles, and says "everyone is enthusiastic" about the change to new coach Jim Boylan.
- Ersan Ilyasova, who signed a five-year deal with the Bucks last summer, is also pleased with the team's coaching change, having been re-inserted into the starting lineup. So far, Boylan has made the moves that will benefit the franchise long-term, writes Stephen Brotherson of HoopsWorld.