Varejao Mending Fences

Andy Varejao Playing For BrazilCleveland Cavaliers’ Anderson Varejao Not Playing For Team Brazil In The Upcoming Summer Olympics

It’s been no secret that the Cleveland Cavaliers organization does not want Zydrunas Ilgauskas to play for Lithuania in the summer olympics in Beijing this August. Worried about his health and the ability of his infamous feet to withstand such little rest, the Cavaliers would prefer he just stay at home this summer.

What was a bit of a secret, though, was that the Cavaliers also didn’t want Anderson Varejao to play for his native Brazil in the Olympics (Brazil has yet to qualify, so he would have been playing in qualifiers as well). According to Brian Windhorst of the Akron Beacon Journal, Varejao has agreed to not play for Brazil this summer, but instead rest his weary knees. He writes,  

“Many of the hard feelings with the Anderson Varejao camp and the Cavs from last year’s nasty contract talks have eased and his decision to skip playing for Brazil in the upcoming Olympic qualifier is a sign of it.

The Cavs’ team doctors recently sent Varejao a letter asking him to consider rehabbing his ankle this summer and making regular trips to Cleveland to have it checked. Varejao was under no obligation to listen and was no doubt feeling pressure from his countrymen, but he decided to take the advice. He’s still planning on going to Brazil to be there for the national team’s training camp in a show of solidarity but has decided his ankle needs rehab so he can be 100 percent by September.”

This is good news for Cleveland on 2 fronts. First, the fact that he is working to be back at 100% by training camp is good for the Cavs, and second, the fact that he is getting along better with the Cavaliers organization is good for the team as well.

Certainly Varejao realizes that this is a walk year for him and if he wants the kind of money he thinks he’s worth, he has to come into camp in shape and have a huge year for the Cavs. So don’t think it’s pure altruism that’s behind this decision, but none the less, despite his poor post season play this year, he’s been a prime playoff performer in the past and a healthy and motivated Anderson Varejao is a good thing for Cleveland.

  • mendy

    what’s the word on Ilgauskas? has he decided if he’s playing yet?

  • RockKing

    It’s actually not his call. It’s up to the Cavaliers, and I seriously doubt they will let him play. In some ways, it’s too bad and I fear this will create some bad blood, but at the end of the day, the Cavs simply have to do what’s best for them.

  • Scott

    In most trade scenarios, Varejao’s name is tossed around more than it’s not. I’m trying to decide what the breakeven point is between wanting to get a “contract year” out of him, versus moving him for someone that doesn’t do running 360s in the NBA Finals…

  • RockKing

    Oh, sure, if the Cavaliers can get anything for him in a trade, they should heavily consider it. I fully expect a bounceback year out of AV next season, and that would be nice to have on the team, but he’s not re-signing with Cleveland, so if there’s a trade market for him, I say explore it.

  • SamBfromTN

    Last I heard Team Lithuania’s Representative was appealing that claus in Z’s contract (post #2) claiming that it was there because there was nobody willing to insure his feet and protect the cavs from the money they would owe Z even if he was hurt. At that point, they had found a company willing to insure Z throughout the olympics but were waiting on word from whomever they were appealing to.

    Have you all heard this and do you know what the final word was?