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Teammates Soon?

Anderson Varejao is one of the polarizing players, you love when he plays for your team but hate when he plays for the other guys. I personally am of the latter; I could never stand the guy. Just the way the Side-Show-Bob-look-alike plays grinds my gears and when Benedict LeBron was still in Cleveland, they were a match made in heaven. The flopping, the whining, the cheap plays… they were perfect. But now LeBron’s in Miami, the Cavs are in the basement of the Eastern Conference at 4-14 with Varejao leading the NBA in rebounding, and the Celtics can’t rebound to save their lives. I hate to say it, but now Side-Show Bob is a perfect fit for the Green.

Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Tribune articulated in recent post that Varejao could be on the move this season and that OKC could be a good dance partner:
The Anderson Varejao trade talk will heat up again, especially with the incredible Cavalier leading the NBA in rebounding -- by far -- at 14.7 per game. And he's averaging 14.9 points, without the Cavs running a play for him. Varejao is shooting a career-high 78 percent from the foul line, and making 15-footers regularly in the flow of the game.

In the past, there has been a lot of trade talk about Varejao, but the Cavs never were real close to trading their 6-10 veteran. Their price has always been high -- something like a lottery pick and perhaps other young players. The teams that treasure Varejao's skills are contenders with low draft picks. That has not created suitable trading partners.

It's possible -- with Varejao having a career season -- that could change. Oklahoma City owns multiple picks, including a possible lottery pick that originally belonged to Toronto (protected for picks 1 to 3). You can imagine Varejao adding some lightning to the Thunder. But who knows if there will be a deal.

Is it possible they will trade Varejao? Of course. But they love how Varejao plays. They love that he's never asked to be traded, and seems to enjoy playing here. They love how the fans react to him. And they love his contract, very reasonable in terms of how NBA big men are paid: $8.4 million this season, $9 million in 2013-14, $9.7 million ($2.5 million guaranteed) in 2014-15.

Anderson Varejao is averaging more rebounds per game than the starting front court for the Celtics, shocking I know. The Celtics need a big man ASAP, as in yesterday and Varejao could be THE man. But will the asking price be too high? Who would we have to give up? It would probably have to be some combination of Jared Sullinger, Brandon Bass, Courtney Lee, Jeff Green and potentially also Fab Melo. Would a trade of Lee, Bass, Sullinger and Melo for Varejao and Daniel Gibson be giving up too much? Realistically it would probably take that and more in draft picks. Trying to get the contracts to match up is tough, but also a trade of Green, Sully and Melo for Varejao and Omri Casspi works numbers wise too. However under the current CBA, Lee can’t be traded until December 15th and Green and Bass can’t be traded until January 15th which will make it that much more difficult for us, as the later the season goes the higher the price.

Is anything the Celtics have on their roster favorable for the Cavs? Pluto said it; the asking price is going to be high. Oklahoma City could be in the favorite with those draft picks, would Perkins, Perry Jones, Jeremy Lamb and picks for Varejao and Gibson work? The Cavs would get a NBA starting caliber center in return who happens to be younger than Varejao, and that could be more favorable than anything the Celtics could bring to the table.

Cleveland could also pull a wild card and just stand pat, they’re amidst of a rebuilding effort and Varejao could be part of their future plans. He has a favorable contract, plays hard and is only 30 years old. The Celtics need Varejao in the worst way but do the Cavs want or need anything we have? #17 meets all the criteria that we need and would be a great fit (he would have to change is number though) wearing green. Pick and roll basketball with Rondo would be unstoppable... I'm salivating over a front court of Garnett and Varejao. If Varejao finds his way to Boston I’ll be rooting for him wicked hard.

Follow me on Twitter: @MattyMackay

Matty Mackay 12/04/2012 11:55:00 AM Edit
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