July 29, 2014

Varejao trade destinations…or lack there of

Anderson Varejao was everything I loved about basketball. He was hustle, he was emotion, he was heart. He was 36 minutes of controlled chaos, spinning a fury around opposing frontcourts.

But not anymore.

He’s now much, much more than that.

The Wild Thing is no longer a gimmicky role player, he’s the best center in the Eastern Conference and one of the best players in the NBA. He leads the NBA in every major rebounding category, and has been one of the ten best offensive players in the league. No that wasn’t a typo, Andy has molded himself into an offensive gem.

Andy has always created mayhem running the pick and roll, but his ability to play point forward, run dribble hand offs, and create his own shot in isolations have taken his offense to new levels.

Number 17 in Wine and Gold is no longer just an asset for Chris Grant and the Cavaliers, he’s the prize pig at the fair. Any team would happily take the Wild Thing’s services, especially a serious playoff contender, but there are few contenders with enough assets to offer the Cavaliers in return.

The most prominent rumor involving Varejao, one that has been ciruclating around Cavs forums for weeks, is Andy to OKC.

The Andy to OKC rumor has the Cavs receiving the rights to Toronto’s top 3 protected 2013 pick, Perry Jones III, and Jeremy Lamb in exchange for Varejao.

First off, this trade can’t work straight up since it doens’t comply with the NBA salary cap rules.

But let’s say that they work out the extra details and/or teams needed and make the deal work with those pieces being the real meat of the deal.

Even though it is top 3 protected,1 a high lottery pick is very appealing. This would most likely give the Cavs two top 10 picks, giving Chris Grant one last draft to build his core going forward.

Although Perry Jones III has incredible upside, and Lamb was a lottery pick, I don’t see either of these two featuring in a rotation of a serious playoff team.

In my mind, the Raptors pick makes this trade a 50/50 decision for Chris Grant. PJ3 and Lamb don’t do it for me, but it’s hard to turn down a top 10 pick.

Other than OKC, none of the top teams in the leauge have high draft picks to trade, thus Chris Grant would have to set his sights for lower first rounds pick along with young prospects.

The Celtics, Mavericks, and Rockets have all been noted as teams that could use Andy’s services, but none have any draft picks or prospects worth a serious response from Grant.

The deal that makes the most sense to me is Varejao to Denver. Even before we start talking basketball, is there a better city in America for Anderson Varejao than Denver?2 This progressive, laid back city would no doubt fall in love with the Brazilian’s Sideshow Bob hair, man hugs, and Samba style.

In exchange for Varejao and Luke Walton’s expiring contract, Cleveland gets Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov, and Wilson Chandler.

The Nuggets get one of the best big men in the NBA and will no longer have to start Kosta Koufos.3 This gives the Nuggets a menacy frontcourt of Varejao and Keneth Faried to run out against a West that is loaded with frontcourt talent. Faried and Varejao would give the Nuggets protection on the glass and the ability to run like the wind with Ty Lawson.

The cornerstone of the deal for the Cavaliers is Danilo Gallinari. Gallinari is already in the top half of small forwards in the league, only 24, and can seriously shoot it from the top of his almost 7 foot frame. Don’t get me wrong, he’s no Dirk, but he’s good enough to have played in either the Thunder or Heat’s rotation last year. 

Wilson Chandler gained recognition as the versatile sixth man of Mike D’Antoni’s Knicks. Chandler would play positions 2-4, block shots, play above the rim, and hit threes leading New York’s second unit. He did a bit of everything and became a fan favorite in Madison Square Garden. Chandler, along with Galinari and Mosgov, was traded from New York to Denver in the Carmelo Anthony deal and then he played in China during the NBA lockout. Recently Chandler has been battling injuries and is yet to return to the level of play he reached in New York.

Timofey Mozgov4 is a 7 ft 1 in Russian that clogs the lane and rebounds well in limited minutes. Anything Mozgov brought to Cleveland would be bonus, but with any seven-footer there’s always oodles of potential to be tapped.

The conversation surrounding a Varejao trade will no doubt swirl until February 21 or until his locker is cleared out of Cleveland Clinic Courts. Plenty of teams would love to have Andy in their corner come playoff time, but few can afford him. Of the few that can afford him, only a couple are in position to make a move. The Thunder are an obvious option, but the Nuggets make the most sense to me.

Besides OKC and Denver, I’m certain the Cavs will get plenty of offers for Varejao involving late first round picks, but is that truly enough?  A late first rounder is a fine asset to have, but it’s also what they got for Ramon Sessions.

OKC? Denver? Cleveland? Where Andy will be come February 22 is a mystery, but it’s a certainty Andy trade talk will dominate Cavs headlines all year long.

Let the discussion continue.

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Footnotes:

  1. Teams have learned from the Clippers mistake that led to Cleveland winning the lottery and the rights to draft Kyrie []
  2. Some might argue Portland []
  3. A punishment not fit for even the most evil basketball fans. []
  4. Got to love that it’s Timofey instead of Timothy. Almost as good as Anfernee Hardaway instead of Anthony []
  • JacobWFNY

    Obviously, calling Andy a top 10 offensive player is quite high. … We saw what happened against Kevin Love and the Wolves last night.

    His current scoring average of 14.4, which would clearly be a career-high, is mostly a product of the fact he’s the best frontcourt scorer on a team for the first time in his career (no LBJ, Z, Shaq, Antawn, Hickson, Gooden). He’s averaging 11.9 FGA per game, up from 8.9, 7.0 and 6.1 in the previous two seasons. Meanwhile, Andy’s shooting just 48.9% this year, which would be his lowest mark since ’07-’08.

    That poor shooting percentage is almost exclusively because of his newfound love for the mid-range jump shot. Yes, he’s gotten slightly better (thru 17 games via HoopData, he’s shooting 39.0% from 3+ feet this year, compared to 36.7% in past three seasons), but those are still the least-efficient kind of shots out there. This season, 52.2% of his shots are from that range, up from 39.1% in the past three years.

    That being said, have we seen proof that the Nuggets would even be interested in such a deal? In trading Gallo/Chandler, Denver’s best wing players would be Andre Iguodala, Corey Brewer, Jordan Hamilton and Evan Fournier. That sounds even worse than their current frontcourt situation.

  • Shane Huebner

    I fail to see how Gallo would be more appealing than two young prospects (Lamb and PJIII) plus a top 10 lotto pick in a draft that looks pretty decent, assuming all those eligible declare. Gallo has a history of injuries, is having his worst statistical season of his career and where do you play him? The 3, ok, but then you have a stationary 7’0″ SF that loves to chuck from deep and his shooting below 40%. Chandler WAS a nice player but I certainly would not count on him in a deal for Andy and Mozgov is just plain garbage. You take a shot at local kid Koufos, but then you would want Moz in a deal when he can’t even get on the floor for Denver ahead of Koufos and the crazy one, JaVale McGee. Makes no sense. The OKC deal is the ONLY deal that makes any sense to me. You get 2 young players to develop, a 2 and a 3-4, one of which in Lamb that the Cavs were rumored to be very interested in leading up to the draft. So Zeller, Tristan (maybe, he’s been awful), PJIII, Lamb, Waiters, Kyrie and two top 10 picks this year. I fail to see a better scenario for Chris Grant should this be the road they decide to travel down.

  • Jaker

    I love having Andy, but his trade value will never be higher than it is now, I think we need to trade him before he gets hurt again. I would be ok with either of those trade scenarios. PJ3 and Lamb have serious potential, but that can be risky. The Toronto pick would be the prize of the trade, hopefully falling in between 4-8, but from what I hear, this draft is relatively weak(again?). So while this trade would give us a very very young deep core, I’m not sure how much actual talent we would have.

    The Denver trade would be nice. I go to plenty of Knick games and I was a big fan of the Mosgov, Chandler and Gallo trio. The only problem with this trade would be that the Cavs would be taking on a big salary from Gallo, but I think it would be worth it.

    Speculation time, but I hear that the Wolves are trying to unload D Williams and get some shooting help. If there was a way we could get a hold of him, I would be stoked. Of course it would probably cost us, but I think something could be had if we wanted him bad enough.

  • http://www.facebook.com/clay.brown.58 Clay Brown

    give me a break..none of these trade scenarios make ANY sense…WHY WHY WHY give up a guy like Andy even for a lotto pick or the denver trio..we have an established veteran here that we KNOW what he brings to the table night in night out…propects, potential,lotto picks??too risky and would only set the cavs in a backward motion..lets keep building with andy, kyrie, waiters, zeller etc..we can ADD to this team without SUBTRACTING…..

  • Albert

    What would happen if Toronto’s pick lands in the Top 3? Would it carry over to next year?

  • http://www.facebook.com/chris.zanon Chris Zanon

    Now has to be the time to trade Andy. I hate to say it because he is such a good example to the other players, in terms of showing the young guys how to play with energy and how far pure hustle can take you. But, he is finally healthy and putting up elite stats. He is 30 and only going to start breaking down. The best trade is going to the the OKC trade. They would force the Cavs to take bad their bad contract in Perkins, who makes $7.8 million per year. Then, being able keep a defense presence and at the very least adding two high potential rotation bench players (where the Cavs have the worst bench I’ve ever seen), they could grab potentially a pick landing between pick 3 and 15 on top of their own (likely between 1 and 3). Adding two top ten picks to Kyrie, Dion Waiters, Tyler Zeller, Lamb, Jones, Thompson, Gee and Perkins willl create a deep team with potential that also has a good amount of cap space to maneuver. They will maximize their assets with high potential young players with high trade value and high draft picks. All of that will fast forward this team’s pursuit of contention.

  • Josh

    I agree. I’m pretty confused how he can say PJIII and Lamb will never be a part of a playoff rotation. Not only were both highly rated by scouts in the draft, both were either drafted or traded for by the team with the best young player track record in the NBA. Both have much higher ceilings than anyone in the Denver trade and that’s before mentioning the lottery pick. Out of those two trades it’s not even remotely close which is better for the Cavs.

  • Steve

    You trade him because you aren’t going to contend before his contract is up. You trade him now, because buy low, sell high. How good do you see this team being 2014/15? Even if you see this team finding a way to have home court in first round, that’s only one year of Varejao, versus trading for guys who will be under contract through Irving’s prime.

  • Neil Molden

    I think that the Cavs should trade Andy for Joel Anthony, Udanis Haslem and James Jones and 2 2012-2013 1st round picks and the next two second round picks for the following years (2012-2013 and 2013-2014). I’m a Cavs fan and I know that if we could do this trade we would get two great defensive and rebounding big men in Joel Anthony and Udanis Haslem and a NBA 3pt. shooting contest winner in James Jones that could spread the floor. We could also get 2 first round picks to rebuild and another 2 picks from the second round to get some talent. This trade would make most sense because the cap space works and Miami would agree to this because they need help rebounding. This trade would make most sense and would be great for the Cavs.

  • Danny

    Per nbadraft.net,

    Top 3 protected and 15-30 in 2013, top 2 protected and 15-30 in 2014 and ’15, Top 1 protected and 15-30 in 2016 and ’17, and unprotected in 2018.

  • LoveAndyBut

    I think we need to trade him his year. Don’t get me wrong, I love Andy. I just think we have an asset that can bring us some young talent, and we need to build for the future. Face it, we are not going to be in the playoffs during Andy’s prime years. He has about 3-4 years left at this level. I think there are enough teams interested that we should be able to get good value. I am not worried about getting equal value. Part of the value we get should be potential of young players. Obviously, we need to get potential that can be developed. It’s up to Chris Grant to get the right potential for this team. Let’s not waste Andy’s talent so we win a few more games. Let’s use it to win a lot more in the future.

  • Neil Molden

    I think we need to trade Andy because he’s 30 now and we really need to trade him now before he gets too old. Many teams want him now because they see him as a great rebounder and an All-Star player and we could get a great trade out of this. As a Cavs fan I think we should trade Andy to the Heat for Joel Anthony, Udanis Haslem and James Jones and 2 2012-2013 1st round picks and the next two second round picks for the following years (2012-2013 and 2013-2014). This would give us 4 draft picks to rebuild, two great defensive and rebounding centers and a great 3pt. shooter to spread the floor.

  • Neil Molden

    I couldn’t agree more Steve that is why I think we should trade Andy to the Heat for Joel Anthony, Udanis Haslem and James Jones and 2 2012-2013 1st round picks and the next two second round picks for the following years (2012-2013 and 2013-2014). This would highly help our team. We would get two great defensive and rebounding centers and a great 3pt. shooter to spread the floor.

  • architrance

    wHAT?!

  • Obie

    I think you almost have to trade him before his next inevitable injury. You can’t play the way he does without injuries. It’s only a matter of time before he gets hurt and loses all trade value.

  • Steve

    All three guys you mention are under contract just as long (or shorter) than Varejao, and fairly old. We’re looking for younger guys with longer deals.

  • architrance

    Love Andy, but he’s a 30 year old who’s BARELY played 3 FULL SEASONS in the NBA, mainly due to injuries. In the ONLY 3 full seasons he’s even played he averaged just under 27 min/game. This year he’s averaging a whopping 37 min/game. How do we know he’s going to hold up at this pace? His value will never be higher (he’s only going to decrease in value from here on out). I know he holds more value on this (bad) team than he would on a playoff bound contender, but they HAVE to be willing to trade him. They don’t HAVE to trade him, but they better be shopping him around to see if they can nab that perfect deal. With some sort of three team scenario, or taking back a TON of salary, I’m sure they could find a great deal somewhere. Even the OKC deal, if they can make it work, I’d do it. Could we steal Ibaka somehow? Along with the TOR pick? TOR will likely be #3-7, without Andy we’ll probably be #1-3. That’s a potential two top 5 picks AGAIN.

    Not sure I like the Denver deal. There must be something better out there!?

  • http://www.facebook.com/Ryan.s.Markel.RudyUSMC Ryan S Markel

    I agree with alot of people that say, if your going to trade a guy, that does have a history of being hit with an injury every year.. and your a young team needing young talent after young talent to build into a playoff contender ( not title contender just playoff’s ) then you need draft picks and young players.. and as others have said.. his value may never be higher than it is now so if your going to get a lottery pick instead of lower 1st rndr’s this is the year.. preference would be to the lakers for me.. but we dont have the piece’s, personally I thought the Cavs had a three way trade with chicago last year that could have netted them carlos boozer and some picks a guy who over the next 4yrs could play the pick and roll with Irving and get them in the playoff’s and make K. Irving a top talent (ala Stockon and D.Will with Malone and Boozer of Utah) .. A.V is good but not a pick and roll guy… and hustle players who develop some game.. might be anamoly that you need to capitalize on if your rebuilding

  • Wheel

    Why on earth would we trade someone is arguably the best center in the conference? Just because he is at the peak of his trade value? What does that say to the Cavs players (especially Irving)? We are another good draft and a key free agent signing away from contending. Keep Andy and let’s grow the team around him and Kyrie. Are we going to contend, or are we going to be the Indians and Browns, forever rebuilding and eternally waiting for next year?

  • Josh

    Dude, stop pimping this trade. Not only are all three players horrible, we already own Miami’s 2012 first round pick and they aren’t allowed to trade their 2013 pick. S

  • Ray

    Doubt OKC would give up Lamb. He was the main piece in the Harden trade (although Martin is having the most impact on the team). They are investing a lot in a future with Lamb as their SG.

    Plus, we don’t need another young SG with Dion already looking good. I’d be fine with the 2013 first rounder, PJ3, and maybe Thabeet and/or Maynor.

  • Jaker

    BOO

  • NamedMyKidPrice

    I love Andy and I go back and forth on trading him. But if we land a top 5 pick with PJIII and Lamb I would be excited. Both guys would be long term depth and we could add two more top 10 picks in this draft. BTW when do we get to capitalize on the Sacramento pick?

  • mgbode

    And lambs slow start was fully expected as he needs to develop a nba body

  • mgbode

    Obviously a heat fan here

  • Brian Herold

    Andy (all-star Andy) has been our most consistent player the entire year and if we trade him for a late first round pick and/or Gallinari plus would be an awful move for the organization as we move forward, Although we have a record of 4-17, it does not reflect the talent the Cavs possess. Kyrie, arguably the 2nd best PG in the east has missed 10+ games and waiters, who is already looking like a solid scoring option in the NBA at age 21, has missed 4 games. With a solid foundation of Kyrie, Andy, and Waiters, the cavs have a great shot to compete in the Eastern conference for years to come. With an addition of a solid PF (T.Thompson has proved he isn”t that) and Gee progressing into a solid SF option, our starting five is looking like a top 5 team in the NBA (refer to the +/- of starting fives as of now if you don’t agree). Kyrie, 20, is going to be an MVP type player and along with waiters and our All-Star center Andy, our big three will come into fruition and we will make the playoffs this year as the 8th seed. Whos with me?

  • Me

    i 100% agree the celtics can get varejao but…. i dont know who will danny ainge would offer to get varejao

  • http://twitter.com/JZelch17 Josh Zelch

    There was never a 3 way trade you speak of lol, Cavs would have no interest in Loozer and his crap contract

  • http://twitter.com/JZelch17 Josh Zelch

    Dude your trolling so hard no one would ever even consider this trade. Please get out of hear Miami Cheat fan

  • http://twitter.com/JZelch17 Josh Zelch

    That would be a horrible situation and hope that doesn’t happen

  • xonstage

    That Denver deal stinks. Not exciting at all. I’d rather keep Andy. The OKC idea is the only one that works to me. Are PJ3 & Lamb even playing, or are they still on the bench? Send them here.
    The other other deal I could stomach is Toronto sending JV and Terrence Ross here. But, I would rather Andy go to a contender (OKC).

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rod-Miller/100001118831228 Rod Miller

    Cousins for Anderson straight up?