July 22, 2014

NBA Trade Rumors: Cavaliers None Too Pleased With ESPN Anderson Varejao Report

Despite reports by ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Cleveland Cavaliers were not considering the trade of center Anderson Varejao for Byron (BJ) Mullens and/or Cole Aldrich from the Oklahoma City Thunder, a source close to the team tells WFNY.

The report in question – published on January 28th – insinuates that the Cavaliers and general manager Chris Grant were shopping their now-injured Brazilian big man to Oklahoma City, and would have been forced to take whatever low-ball offer the Thunder were willing to move; in this specific case, Aldrich or Mullens. The source tell WFNY that not only was the Stein piece wildly misleading, but it has now cast the Cavaliers in a light of desperation which has had a negative effect on subsequent informal talks with other teams.

As told to WFNY, the Cavaliers did in fact have discussions with the Thunder as they are one of the many teams who continue to be impressed with Varejao’s contributions on both ends of the floor along with his ability to make an impact without the ball in his possession.  While Mullens and Aldrich are undoubtedly young big men who represent a typical business counter offer, neither are viewed as adequate compensation – in the eyes of the Cavaliers – for Varejao who is still under guaranteed contract for three more seasons.

Stein referenced the athletic shooting guard James Harden and tweener forward Jeff Green, the latter of which is essentially unavailable.

The Cavaliers, currently sitting at a league-worst record of 8-43, are in the midst of a record-breaking losing streak of 24 straight games.  They have been decimated by injuries after losing Varejao for the season, as well as teammates Mo Williams, Daniel Gibson, Leon Powe, and Anthony Parker all missing various games with their respective issues.  Having a lot of flexibility in their favor (multiple expiring contracts, a $15 million Traded Player Exception), the Cavaliers were considered to be among the most likely to make a move this season, but have seen their assets take a hit in present value. 

Adding to the mix of uncertainty is the oft-rumored deal for Denver’s Carmelo Anthony as well as the expiring Collective Bargaining Agreement.

On top of the negative PR from a fan base who desperately wants the Cavaliers to get better (wherein a trade for Mullens/Aldrich would not be an easy sell), the report in question has allegedly forced other teams to low-ball the Cavaliers under the assumption that the team would take unproven talent in return for their biggest asset. 

Varejao is scheduled to have surgery on his injured foot this week in North Carolina.  The timetable for his return is three-to-four months, but the 28-year old big man has been told that he will be 100 percent following the procedure.  On the season, Varejao averaged a career-best 9.1 points, 9.7 rebounds and 1.2 blocked shots per game. 

Despite playing in only 31 games, Varejao remains among the top-20 in the entire NBA in terms of Win Share (10.05).  It is widley speculated that the second team NBA All-Defender will be the starting center for 2011-12 while the Cavaliers rebuild the backcourt and wing positions.

(AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

  • Boomhauertjs

    Shocking that ESPN would do something to screw the Cavs…

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Scott

    I do not think it was reported with malice, but it goes to show that some things out there – regardless of medium – should be taken with a grain of salt.

  • Shamrock

    Maybe if Grant or Little Napoleon said something instead of burying their heads in the sand while the team sinks like a Titantic might help lessen the speculation. Frankly I don’t think they have a clue what to do. 25 game losing streak and it’s like oh well.

  • ben

    I love how Gilbert-hate is totally an ESPN construct. He wrote a letter that summarized how all Cavs fans and employees felt. Big deal.

    AV is good, but no one on this [EXPLETIVE DELTEDED] show of a roster is untouchable. If we trade, though, I don’t want it to be for random, semi-decent, garbo players. We need draft choices NAOW.

  • Bryan

    “rebuild the backcourt and win positions”

    It would be fantastic if they could rebuild the “win” position tonight…

  • Lyon

    If Aldrich was a throw in guy I’d be happy. He could be a decent C, or good backup. But only if we were to get a really good piece with him, which obviously OKC wouldn’t want to give up.

    For the love of God, don’t get Mullens. We already have HOllins, we don’t need another talentless 7 footer.

  • http://gooddoctorzeus.blogspot.com DocZeus

    That trade makes no sense anyway. The Cavs were really going to trade their best player with a reasonable contract for two significantly worse players at the same position with limited upside? How does that improve the team in any sense? The Cavs don’t need to dump salary.

  • travis

    i would do this trade YESTERDAY! Anderson is entirely overpaid and overrated.This would rid us of his horrible contract.

  • Jim

    Anyone with any common sense could see that was a ridiculous trade offer. I’m sure it was proposed and I’m sure the Cavs quickly said thanks and hung up the phone. BJ Mullins makes Ryan Hollins look like a competent NBA player. Haven’t seen much from Cole Aldrich but can say with fair certainly he will not have the type of career Andy has had thus far.

    The only way it makes sense to take one of those guys is if OKC throws in a valuable piece, either draft pick (which no longer is that valuable as they will be picking in the mid 20′s) or a young talent like Harden.

  • Harv 21

    @ DocZeus/#7: thank you.

    If the Cavs will be in the lottery while keeping Andy, why not.

  • mgbode

    aldrich, mullens, and harden. i would at least give it a thought. probably want their 1st rounder too.

  • Greg

    “The report in question – published on January 28th – insinuates that the Cavaliers and general manager Chris Grant were shopping their now-injured Brazilian big man to Oklahoma City, and would have been forced to take whatever low-ball offer the Thunder were willing to move; in this specific case, Aldrich or Mullens.”

    If Stein did insinuate that in his report, it makes no sense. How exactly would they be “forced”? Threat of losing him? No, he has a long term contract at a reasonable rate. Trade to appease the fans? No, and this would have the opposite effect. Forced by league? I don’t think ESPN is lining up with the NBA Conspiracy Theorists.

    “The source tell WFNY that not only was the Stein piece wildly misleading, but it has now cast the Cavaliers in a light of desperation which has had a negative effect on subsequent informal talks with other teams.”

    That also makes no sense. Bogus trade rumors are floated all the time, and all the GM’s no this. It is absurd to suggest that this rumor would cast the Cavs as desperate. “Desperate” is when you do something dumb in the long term in order to save the season (playoff positioning, one last run for an aging roster, etc.). There is no short run for the Cavs, building for the future is all that matters now.

  • Shamrock

    Desperate = Jamario Moon and Anthony Parker signings.

  • http://www.heyhokie.com Vengeful Pat

    Ugh, can’t believe there are a couple of people who actually think the Cavs should look at any trade involving Cole Aldrich and BJ Mullens. Look, I know OKC has some excellent players in their rotation, but neither of these guys can get playing time on that roster, so they are suddenly worth Andy Varejao, who consistently puts up some of the best plus/minus numbers in the NBA? No. Heck no. And throwing in Harden doesn’t help anything… watch several OKC games and you’ll see that he is just a guy who jacks up shots (and he doesn’t take good ones). Any trade OKC would be willing to do right now would be a “3 quarters for a dollar” type of trade.

  • Mike

    Maybe Scott should read the piece before regurgitating what some people in the Cavs organization *think* it said.

    Or at least point a link to the article for people to make their own decisions.

    No one in their right mind would read that as the Cavs seriously considering an offer of Mullens and/or Aldrich for Varejao.

  • ness

    Trade andy to portland for joel pryzbilla and the hornets 1st it works out perfect cavs rebuild and get 7mill cap space come season end and a 1st round pick most likely in the early 20s to go along with 2 others one from miami I believe and there high lottery pick 3 rookies or trade for another top 15 pick and have 2 high picks easily makes them better and enough cap to sign a bunch of players

  • ness

    Sorry for the bad spelling on a mobile

  • Me

    BANNER #18

  • Me

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