Tests revealed that Anderson Varejao has suffered a torn Achilles tendon, reports Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The injury to his left leg is indeed expected to knock him out for the rest of the season, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports tweets. All signs were pointing to the injury having been a torn Achilles, as Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio heard shortly before the news broke (Twitter link). An MRI this morning revealed the tear, as Wojnarowski notes in a full story. The 32-year-old couldn’t put any weight on the leg when he exited Tuesday’s game after the injury occured.
It’s a tough blow for the Cavs, who guaranteed his nearly $9.705MM salary for this season when they signed him to a three-year extension in the fall. Cleveland can apply to the NBA for a disabled player exception worth 50% of his salary, or more than $4.582MM. The Cavs had inquired about the possibility of signing Josh Smith before Varejao went down, according to Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group (Twitter link), but that was chiefly a matter of the team doing its due diligence, Haynes cautions. The Knicks are making Samuel Dalembert available, according to Wojnarowski, but his acquisition would be a “last resort” for the Cavs, Wojnarowski tweets.
Cleveland has been in talks with the Celtics in recent days about Boston’s willingness to participate in a trade as a third team, as Windhorst and ESPN colleague Marc Stein wrote overnight. The Cavs have long been looking for a rim-protector, and they appear poised to intensify that search now that they’ll be without their only starting-caliber center.