April 23, 2014

NBA Rumors: Anderson Varejao’s injury may cost him $1 million All-Star bonus

While Anderson Varejao would have had to rely on the head coaches within the Eastern Conference, his recent injury (and subsequent surgery) may have cost him $1 million in a bonus he would have received for making the All-Star team, reported first by ESPN’s Marc Stein.

Though the Cavaliers presently sit at a woeful 9-31, Varejao was averaging over 14 points and 14 rebounds per game, had a PER of 22.0 and was already worth 3.3 wins. Following his huge start to the 2012-13 season, Varejao received several votes of praise from Cavaliers head coach Byron Scott who dubbed Andy his “All-Star guy.”

Varejao’s accolades were not specific to Cleveland as Boston’s Doc Rivers and Milwaukee’s former head coach Scott Skiles both felt that Varejao deserved the nod.

Varejao injured his right knee on December 19 against the Toronto Raptors and would later be diagnosed with a split muscle in his leg which required surgery. He missed a substantial portion of the 2011-12 season with a fractured right hand as well as the majority of the 2010-11 season with an torn tendon in his ankle.

[Related: Barkley: Varejao has been the best non-alien forward in Eastern Conference]

  • Natedawg86

    Bonus is in the contract to reward for continuous performance. Varejao has been a beast, but he has also been out a lot. Would have loved to see hiim get the nod, but unfortunately he has not logged the minutes.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    I was just thinking about this yesterday… I was wondering if Andy’s contract had a bonus for making the All-Star game. He would have easily made it this year… man, that sucks for him.

  • mgbode

    would we have been the first team with a 25% win% and 2 allstars? there’s little chance that Irving can be ignored with the dearth of good Eastern guards and Andy definitely should have punched a ticket the way he was playing.

  • mgbode

    noted Cavs enthusiast Charles Barkely also said that an allstar game without Andy would have been ridiculous (pre-injury)

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Seems absurd doesn’t it? I’d like to think that we would have won more games with Andy there, but does Thompson break out of his shell if Andy doesn’t get injured? Maybe not.

  • mgbode

    the issue (in the past) with this situation is that many view getting numbers on bad teams to be easier than getting numbers on good teams. and, they are correct to a degree. however, getting efficient numbers on bad teams may be even harder than getting efficient numbers on good teams and I think more people are getting on the efficiency stat train.

    the craziest thing about the whole season though is we are watching near-unwatchable basketball for the most part. yet, I cannot help but have a ton of hope for the future with Irving, Waiters, TT, Zeller, and Andy as the corps. All have shown some very good signs. Honestly, if I had to pick 1 more guy from the team as well, I’d throw CJ Miles in there. I think he has a pretty good chance at sticking with us long-term as an important bench guy.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Completely agree on both points. What is encouraging to me is that we are getting quality minutes (for the most part) from Irving, TT, Zeller, Varejao, and now Miles (as you noted). Waiters still has a ways to go, but has shown flashes like two nights ago against Sacramento. What seems to be killing the Cavs right now is the rest of the team. Gee should be a backup. I’m not sure if anyone else should be on the roster (at least for this year, they may be able to be developed for future years). Luke Walton should be collecting social security checks, not logging meaningful minutes. And of course, the whole team needs to learn to play better defense. This is a must. Scott should possibly look into hiring a new assistant to key on that.

  • SDA

    agree with everything but the Walton comment. Luke has been an on the floor coach/ leader and I think ball movement has been improved greatly since he has been getting more minutes. Is he a piece for a title run, absolutely not,but I think he has really helped this team.

  • mgbode

    i wanted Gee to become our Sefolosha. a guy that becomes under-appreciated but is absolutely critical to our defense. sadly, he has not been that guy.

  • mgbode

    perhaps, but he has been absolutely terrible at actually playing the game of basketball. he has simultaneously made our offense and defense much worse every time he steps onto the court.

    as a PF (most of his minutes), he has a PER of 2.3 while giving up a PER of 21.8 (that is allstar level). as a C, he has a PER of 12.5 while giving up 12.1.

    if he helps the young team figure out how to pass and be involved in plays, then he can be an assistant coach.

  • woofersus

    I think Gee is an important bench player too. Unfortunately we have to start him right now. If we can draft a quality, if not future-all star caliber SF this year it will make our prospective lineup Irving, Waiters, SF X, Thompson, and Varejao. Perhaps more importantly the first few guys off the bench are Miles, Gee, and ZeIler. It’s hard to overestimate how much of an upgrade that is over meaningful minutes for Sloan, Caspi, Samuels, Walton, etc. If the stars align correctly we may even have two decent picks again, producing at least another strong bench contributor. And that’s without spending the pile of cash that sits waiting.

    I share your optimism. I think people forget how rookies play. Not everybody is rookie of the year, and even Kyrie had some ugly moments last year. Even Lebron’s first couple of years were full of awful heat check three’s from 27ft while double teamed and questionable defense. All the best players on this team are too young to anchor a team, with the exception of Varejao, and we’ve seen how they play without him. This team will improve throughout the season, and may even win some big games down the stretch, but next year will be when they start to turn the corner, especially if they draft well again.

  • woofersus

    I agree. Walton has been good for the team, even if grossly overpaid. I assume he won’t get offered much money next year as a free agent, and I wouldn’t be opposed to bringing him back at a much lower price if just for the locker room presence. I do hope that improvements and additions push him out of “meaningful minutes” territory though.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    This was basically the comment I was going to make. The stats don’t back up the assertion that the offense runs better with Walton in the game, and a big part of that is because Walton is in the game. He ends up having to take occasional shots and defend power forwards and he has to grab rebounds over power forwards as well. None of those are things you want Luke Walton doing.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    You know, he’s really a fantastic on-ball defender, but he’s a poor help defender and surprisingly bad at getting around screens given his size/power/speed. I don’t remember him being particularly good defending in the post either. Offensively he’s a mess. His 3-point shot is still poor and he’s turned into a trainwreck when trying to drive to the basket. If I see him barreling to the hoop, I expect either a miss or a foul every time. He has one offensive move that is really a great move and he doesn’t use it often… it’s when he does kind of a stutter-step dribble into a jumper… it looks awkward every time I see it, but it’s really effective at getting his defender to back off expecting the drive and when he does it in rhythm, he seems to hit it every single time. I have no idea why he doesn’t use it more.

  • SDA

    yes but you over look the obvious. At this stage losing is better