The Cavaliers will be without backup big man Chris Andersen for the remainder of the season, says Yahoo Sports’ Chris Mannix. The 38-year-old tore the ACL in his right knee jumping for a rebound in practice and will undergo surgery. According to an official Cavs update, the prognosis was confirmed by a team physician.
What’s next for the defending champions remains to be seen. The 15-year-veteran’s minimum salary is guaranteed, so the team would have to eat it if Andersen is waived. As a result, Brian Windhorst of ESPN speculates that while the Cavs would be unlikely to outright release the Birdman for tax reasons, they could instead explore trade options. Already taking up a spot on the roster is retired veteran Mo Williams, whose contract could be dealt in a package for a suitable replacement.
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In 12 games with Cleveland this season, Andersen has averaged just 2.3 points and 2.6 rebounds per game, playing more than 10 minutes only four times on the year. However, his veteran leadership and ability to match up against bulky forwards and centers will be missed.