Anderson Varejao isn’t sure that the Cavs didn’t resist trading him over the past few years in hopes that he might serve a lure to draw friend LeBron James back to Cleveland, but regardless of the Cavs’ intentions, Varejao’s presence paid dividends, reports Ian Thomsen of NBA.com.
“That’s a big part of the reason why I came back: It was because he was still here,” James said. “A lot of people told him he should talk about getting traded or force his way out of here, and he just stuck around, man. And I’m happy that he’s still here. He’s a big cornerstone of this franchise being here for over 10 years, and it wouldn’t be the same without him.”
Varejao will be around for a while longer after signing a three-year $30MM extension last month, and presumably he’ll continue to serve as enticement for James, who possesses a player option for next season, to stay. Here’s more from Cleveland:
- GM David Griffin acknowledges the team’s defensive shortcomings, and he’s not holding back when it comes to finding a solution, as he tells Chris Haynes of Northeast Ohio Media Group. “No one is untouchable, and you’re never done building a team, so we’re always paying attention to what opportunities are out there,” Griffin said. “My tendency is always trying to do what we can do to improve the roster. But I’m not looking to create one so much as paying attention to what I’m hearing.” Still, the GM cautioned that he wouldn’t put much stock in any player movement rumors involving his team for the time being.
- The Cavs took a chance on David Blatt this summer, and despite a 5-4 start, Griffin remains confident in the first-year head coach, as Haynes relays in the same piece. “I think David has done a tremendous job,” he said. “I think his task is very large. I feel bad in a lot of ways because people have a tendency to want everything to happen right now and when it doesn’t, it has to be someone’s fault when in reality, this adversity is very organic and good for us. He’s renowned for his ability to innovate and make adjustments. I’m glad he’s our partner in this.”
- Rookie Alex Kirk is headed back on D-League assignment, the team announced. The center just returned to the big club Monday from three days with the Canton Charge, as our log of D-League assignments and recalls shows.