Anderson Varejao

Anderson Varejao Hasn’t Given Up Hope Of An NBA Comeback

Anderson Varejao has spent two seasons out of the NBA, but he’s hoping a team will give him an opportunity during the upcoming season, writes Joe Vardon of The Athletic.

Now 36, Varejao was a valuable reserve big man for 13 NBA seasons, mostly with the Cavaliers. He has been playing in Brazil since being waived by the Warriors in February of 2017. He didn’t see much game action during his time with Golden State, but says the chance to play regularly has reinvigorated him.

“I feel a lot better, 100 percent better than how it felt back then, because I got to play again,” Varejao said. “I got to play and I got to be on the floor for more minutes and all of that. I’ve got more rhythm and that’s why I am feeling the way I’m feeling right now.”

Varejao’s contract in Brazil has expired, so he’s free to sign anywhere. He doesn’t expect an invitation to an NBA training camp, but is hopeful that an opportunity will eventually arise from a team that needs a veteran big man to play a few minutes a night and serve as a mentor to younger players. Although he still owns a home in Cleveland, he doesn’t expect that chance to come from a rebuilding team like the Cavaliers.

“I miss all the good years in Cleveland, the teammates I had during the 13 years I had in the NBA,” Varejao said. “The fans, the country in general. I miss America. I miss being away when I’m in Brazil. I do miss the game as well, but I miss the good times that I had with Cleveland and also with the Warriors.”

Varejao is currently participating in the World Cup, where his Brazilian team is preparing for its greatest challenge tomorrow against Team USA. It’s a crucial game for Brazil, which likely needs a win to advance to the quarterfinals.

“This won’t be my first time playing against USA,” Varejao said. “It is good, it brings memories and stuff like that. We’re just thinking about trying to win the game because if we don’t win, we’re going to be in a tough situation.”

And-Ones: Bennett, Evans, P. Jones, Varejao

After being waived by the Suns last month, Anthony Bennett is back in the G League to earn another shot at the NBA, writes Jerry Zgoda of The Star-Tribune. The top pick in the 2013 draft, Bennett had a brief and checkered career, spending a year each with the Cavaliers and Timberwolves, then partial seasons with the Raptors and Nets.

At age 24, Bennett is with the Suns’ affiliate in Northern Arizona and believes he can work his way back to the big leagues. “I guess my focus is different,” he said. “I wouldn’t say this is my last chance, but, you know, I just have to prove to everybody that I can play.”

There’s more news from the G League and overseas:

  • Jeremy Evans, best known as the winner of the 2012 NBA Slam Dunk contest, signed a G League contract and was claimed off waivers by the Reno Bighorns, tweets Chris Reichert of 2 Ways and 10 Days. Evans, who played five seasons for the Jazz and one with the Mavericks, was waived by the Hawks before the start of the season. He played in Russia last season.
  • Perry Jones III, a first-round pick in 2012, has signed a G League contract and will join the Iowa Wolves, according to Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). Jones, who spent three years in Oklahoma City after the Thunder selected him with the No. 28 pick, has previous experience with the Iowa franchise, along with a one-game stay in Russia.
  • Brazilian center Anderson Varejao may finish his career in his home country, relays Sam Amico of AmicoHoops. Varejao, 35, had been hoping to return to the NBA, but is now considering an offer from the Flamengo team in Brazil. He was waived by the Warriors in February.

Cavaliers Face Two Important Deadlines Monday

Monday is an important day on the Cavaliers’ calendar for two reasons, notes Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com.

It’s the expiration date for a trade exception the team acquired when it dealt Anderson Varejao to Portland last season. Currently at nearly $4.4MM, the exception started out at more than $9.6MM, but the Cavs used about $5.2MM when they acquired Kyle Korver from the Hawks in January.

Pluto speculates that Jazz point guard Shelvin Mack could be a good pickup with Cleveland searching for a veteran backup to Kyrie Irving. Mack has dropped out of the rotation in Utah, but he is averaging 7.3 points through 46 games and is shooting 36% from 3-point range, which would be an asset in Cleveland’s offense. Mack’s salary is a little more than $2.4MM, and he will be a free agent when the season ends.

Monday also marks the first day that Varejao could potentially return to Cleveland. NBA rules state that players who are traded must wait at least a full calendar year before rejoining their original team.

The Warriors waived Varejao two weeks ago to free up a roster spot to sign Briante Weber. Pluto writes that the 34-year-old big man could be on the Cavaliers’ radar as a fallback choice as they look for a replacement for the injured Chris Andersen. First they will see if any centers are realistic trade options, then they wait to see who gets bought out. Pluto says they prefer Andrew Bogut to Varejao, but it seems likely the Mavericks will keep him.

Cavaliers Notes: Varejao, Love, Anthony, Shumpert

Anderson Varejao was waived Friday by the Warriors, but he won’t be coming back to Cleveland, at least not for a while, writes Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. The long-time Cavalier was traded to Portland on February 18th of last season, and league rules prevent him from rejoining the Cavs for a full year. Also, Vardon expects someone to claim him 0ff waivers. The Timberwolves, Jazz, Nuggets, 76ers and Nets are all below the salary floor and could benefit from adding the rest of Varejao’s $1.55MM contract. In addition, the Cavaliers prefer to keep their open roster spot through the February 23rd trade deadline to provide flexibility. The 34-year-old Varejao spent his first 12 NBA seasons with Cleveland.

There’s more news this morning about the defending champs:

  • If Kevin Love was trying to impress Knicks president Phil Jackson Saturday night, his 23-point, 16-rebound performance should have done it, notes Anthony Rieber of Newsday. Jackson reportedly asked for Love in a possible deal for Carmelo Anthony. The Cleveland forward said after the game that he is trying to ignore trade talk. “I don’t think about it,” he told reporters. “I don’t really pay attention. I do look at my phone, but it’s not like that’s really crossing my mind or is on top of my mind at all.”
  • If the Cavs are pondering a Love-for-Anthony deal, their only consideration should be who gives them the best shot at defending their title, writes Jason Lloyd of The Akron Beacon Journal. Both can score, but Anthony is a better playmaker and Love is a better rebounder. He adds that the teams discussed a similar deal last season.
  • The Superior Court in Fayette County, Ga., will hear motions next week to throw out elements of Iman Shumpert‘s DUI case from August, according to a separate piece from Vardon. His attorney wants the court to disregard Shumpert’s refusal to take a blood test and the result of his field test, saying they are designed to check for alcohol consumption, not marijuana, which Shumpert admitted to using before being pulled over. He could face a possible suspension, depending on the outcome of the case.

Warriors Cut Anderson Varejao, Sign Briante Weber

FEBRUARY 4th, 12:50pm: The Warriors have signed Weber to a 10-day contract, Anthony Slater of the San Jose Mercury News tweets.

FEBRUARY 3rd, 2:14pm: The Warriors have issued a press release officially confirming that they’ve waived Varejao.

Weber’s signing is not yet official, but he’s on track to join the Warriors after also receiving offers from the Heat and Hornets, tweets Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel.

1:46pm: The Warriors’ frontcourt has been plagued by injuries lately, but the team doesn’t seem to be worried about its depth up front, having decided to part ways with one of its healthy big men. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, Golden State is waiving Anderson Varejao, opening up a roster spot to sign Briante Weber to a 10-day contract.

Varejao, 34, re-signed with the Warriors last summer on a one-year, minimum-salary deal, but has played sparingly. The veteran center has averaged 1.3 PPG and 1.9 RPG in just 14 games (6.6 MPG) in 2016/17. Even with Draymond Green, David West, and Zaza Pachulia out of the lineup on Thursday, Varejao saw only eight minutes of action.

In addition to Green, West, and Pachulia, the Warriors are also carrying JaVale McGee, Damian Jones, Kevon Looney, and James Michael McAdoo at the four or five. As such, the team could afford to part with Varejao, particularly since the injury bug has spread to the backcourt — Shaun Livingston has missed the Warriors’ last two games with a back strain, so Weber will provide depth at guard.

Despite receiving a substantial guarantee ($328K) from the Heat, Weber didn’t make Miami’s regular season roster this past fall, and landed with the team’s D-League affiliate instead. Weber has made a strong case for a call-up, averaging 16.5 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 7.2 APG, and 3.0 SPG in 29 games for the Sioux Falls Skyforce. He was recently named the NBADL’s Player of the Month for January.

The Heat didn’t currently have the roster flexibility to bring Weber back, but were believed to be eyeing him for a potential call-up, as we heard yesterday. Miami is out of luck for now, though it remains to be seen if Weber will stick with the Warriors — Golden State could sign him to up to two 10-day deals, then lock him up for the rest of the season. However, with the trade deadline and buyout season approaching, the Dubs may want to use their 15th roster spot on someone else in the coming weeks.

As for Varejao, he’ll become an unrestricted free agent if he clears waivers on Sunday. Denver is one team that may have interest in adding the vet, per Sam Amico of AmicoHoops.net (Twitter link). The Nuggets would move closer to the salary floor by claiming Varejao and could save some money in the process, in the same way they did by acquiring Mo Williams.

Pacific Notes: Gay, Joerger, Griffin, Warriors

Rudy Gay will have surgery Monday to fix a torn Achilles tendon, the Kings announced on their website. The procedure will be performed at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, and Gay will be out for the remainder of the season. The injury may affect the free agent market, as Gay had planned to opt out of his $14,263,566 deal for next season.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Garrett Temple has taken Gay’s spot in the starting lineup for now, but long-term decisions may not be made until next month, according to Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee. If the Kings continue losing and slip out of the playoff race, coach Dave Joerger may elect to give more minutes to younger players. Rookie guard Malachi Richardson was used in the first half Saturday for the first time all season. “Just be a buncha different dudes running in and out of there,” Joerger said. “Trying to find something that fits as you go through it.”
  • Blake Griffin plans to be ready for the Clippers game Tuesday at Philadelphia, relays Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times. Griffin has missed 17 games since undergoing minor knee surgery December 20th. “It’s as close as I can be, I think,” Griffin said Saturday. “It was good to get some contact in yesterday. So it’s good to get some like real work in besides just running and shooting. It’s kind of up to them.”
  • Warriors coach Steve Kerr is using seven low-salaried big men in a rotation at center, writes Anthony Slater of The San Jose Mercury NewsZaza Pachulia, David West, JaVale McGee, Kevon Looney, James Michael McAdoo, Anderson Varejao and Damian Jones are all getting minutes at the position, depending on the matchup.

Eastern Notes: Dunleavy Jr., Cavs, Monroe, Noel

Mike Dunleavy Jr. labelled reports that indicated he wanted a buyout from the Hawks “pretty inaccurate” and believes he’ll fit right in with the team, Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta-Journal Constitution reports. The Hawks were hoping to find another team for the 36-year-old swingman when he was included in the deal that delivered sharpshooter Kyle Korver to the Cavaliers, Vivlamore continues. Dunleavy has since received assurances from coach Mike Budenholzer that he’ll get some playing time, though he will not immediately become part of the rotation. “I fit in as far as the way I play,” Dunleavy told Vivlamore. “I move, cut, shoot, pass. That’s the way this team is structured. It’s not a matter of what are you going to do for me or how am I going to fit in. It didn’t take much explaining.”

In other news around the Eastern Conference:

  • In the aftermath of the Korver trader, the $9.6MM trade exception that the Cavaliers gained in the trade that sent Anderson Varejao to the Trail Blazers last February has been reduced to $4.4MM, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical tweets. That exception will expire on February 20, Wojnarowski continues. The Cavs created two more exceptions worth $4.8MM and $2.2MM in the deal that also shipped Mo Williams and a protected 2019 first-round pick to Atlanta. Those exceptions will expire on February 7, 2018, Wojnarowski adds.
  • Bucks center Greg Monroe is a long way from deciding whether to exercise the player option on his contract, according to Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Monroe has a $17.8MM option this summer in the final year of his three-year, $50MM deal.  “I’m not thinking about anything like the off-season right now,” he told Gardner. “There is a time and place for everything. If and when I have to make a decision, that time is not right now.” Monroe, the subject of heavy trade speculation during the offseason, has boosted his stock with his play this season, averaging 10.6 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.4 assists as the leader of the second unit.
  • Sixers big man Nerlens Noel, whose playing time has spiked this month, calls this group the “closest team I’ve been on” in his short NBA career, Jessica Camerato of CSNPhilly tweets. Noel, a prime trade candidate as our Luke Adams detailed last month, is averaging 11.3 points and 6.7 rebounds in 23.3 minutes over the last three games. His comment suggests he might be softening his tone about his role with the club.

Players Who Can Veto Trades

No-trade clauses are rare in the NBA, and they became even rarer this offseason, when several players with those clauses in their contracts either called it a career or signed new deals. Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, and Kevin Garnett, who all opted for retirement, had no-trade clauses last season, and so did Dwyane Wade, who doesn’t have the same protection on his new contract with the Bulls.

Nonethless, while the list of players with explicit no-trade clauses may be dwindling, there are still several players each year who have the ability to veto trades. A player who re-signs with his previous team on a one-year contract – or a two-year contract with an option clause – is given no-trade protection, and so is a player who signs an offer sheet and has that offer matched by his previous team. Players who accept qualifying offers after their rookie deals expire can also block deals, though no restricted free agents signed their QOs this year.

Taking into account that list of criteria, here are the players who must give their consent if their teams want to trade them during the 2016/17 league year:

No-trade clauses

Players whose offer sheets were matched

Players accepting qualifying offers

  • None

Players re-signing for one year (or two years including an option)

Information from Basketball Insiders and Yahoo! Sports was used in the creation of this post.

And-Ones: Varejao, Wells, Gay, Contract Details

The Warriors announced via press release that center Anderson Varejao was diagnosed with a small lower back disc herniation. The injury will force him to sit out the 2016 Olympics, but he is expected to be at full strength in time for training camp, per the release. Varejao recently inked a one-year, minimum salary deal to return to Golden State for the 2016/17 campaign.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Equipment manager Matias Testi, who was on the receiving end of a Blake Griffin punch during an altercation at a restaurant last season, is no longer with the Clippers, Dan Woike of The Orange County Register tweets, confirming an earlier report by TMZ (Twitter link).
  • Dez Wells, who spent part of last season with the Thunder‘s D-League affiliate, has signed a deal to play in Germany for Tigers Tubingen, J. Michael of CSNMid-Atlantic.com writes.
  • Disgruntled Kings swingman Rudy Gay underwent shock wave treatment to alleviate pain in his Achilles, not surgery as was initially relayed, James Ham of CSNBayArea.com notes. “I actually had surgery,” Gay had previously told Sactown Royalty, “I had Achilles tendonitis, basically micro tears in my Achilles and for the past two seasons it’s been bothering me so I’ve been trying to play through it and I got to a point where I needed to have it fixed so I got it fixed.”
  • Troy Williamstwo-year deal with the Grizzlies includes a partial guarantee of $150K for 2016/17, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets.
  • The Wizards‘ two-year deal with undrafted free agent Danuel House is a minimum salary arrangement that includes a partial guarantee of $100K, Pincus relays ( Twitter links). Washington also included a $50K partial guarantee in Sheldon McClellan‘s pact, Pincus adds.
  • Treveon Graham‘s two-year arrangement with the Hornets includes a partial guarantee of $75K for next season, Pincus tweets.

And-Ones: Kaun, Varejao, Hornets, Barnes

Center Sasha Kaun has retired after playing one season with the Cavaliers, according to Gary Bedore of KUSports.com. The 31-year-old Kaun played sparingly with Cleveland, appearing in 25 games. He was traded to the Sixers earlier this month, then waived. He played seven seasons with CSKA Moscow after completing his college career at Kansas. “I was very blessed and fortunate to play as long as I have,” he told the Journal-World from Colorado.

In other news around the league:

  • Warriors reserve center Anderson Varejao has returned to the U.S. from Brazil to undergo tests on his back, according to Brazil’s Olympic website. The report, which was later posted by the San Jose Mercury News, puts Varejao’s Olympic participation in doubt and clouds his availability for training camp. Varejao just re-signed with the Warriors last week after playing spot minutes the second half of last season and during the playoffs.
  • Noel Gillespie has been named head coach of the Greensboro Swarm, the Hornets’ new D-League affiliate, the team announced on its website. Gillespie spent the last three seasons as an assistant coach for the Nuggets. Before that, he was on the Suns’ staff for 10 seasons.
  • The Mavericks probably overpaid to obtain Harrison Barnes as a restricted free agent, according to the Dallas Morning News’ Eddie Sefko. Dallas hopes that Barnes blossoms now that he’ll be a bigger part of its offense than he was with the Warriors, but he’s been a middle-of-the-road player and there’s no guarantee he’ll get much better, Sefko adds. Barnes was lured away with a four-year, $94MM offer sheet that Golden State couldn’t match.
  • Yogi Ferrell’s minimum contract with the Nets has a $100K guarantee, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets. The former Indiana University point guard agreed to a one-year deal with Brooklyn last week after going undrafted.