Anderson Varejao subject of trade rumors
by Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports
On July 29, Brazil had just defeated Australia in a men’s Olympic basketball game in London. Brazil center Anderson Varejao scored 12 points and collected seven rebounds, and he contemplated his future in the NBA.
Would it be with the Cleveland Cavaliers, the team with which he spent the first eight years of his career, or with another team?
Last summer, teams wanted Varejao, and the Cavs owed it to both themselves and Varejao to listen to offers. Varejao knew his name was involved in trade discussions but his focus on the Olympics made it difficult for him to keep up with every potential trade.
“If it (a trade) happens, it happens,” Varejao said in July. “There’s nothing I can do. I can’t control that. I cannot control that.”
What Varejao can control is his play, and in 20 games in 2012-13, it has been outstanding, if not worthy of All-Star consideration despite Cleveland’s 4-17 record. Varejao is averaging 14.5 points and 15.2 rebounds.
He is tied for the league lead in double-doubles with Zach Randolph at 15, and Varejao had 10 consecutive double-doubles with monster numbers: 20 points and 18 rebounds in consecutive games, 15 points and 22 rebounds in another, 19 points and 17 rebounds, 17 points and 18 rebounds, and earlier in the season he had 35 points and 18 rebounds.
Since 1970-71, just 14 players for a total of 25 times have averaged at least 14 points and 15 rebounds in a season. Hello Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Bob McAdoo, Elvin Hayes, Moses Malone, Nate Thurmond, Truck Robinson, Dave Cowens, Jerry Lucas, Kevin Willis, Gus Johnson, Elmore Smith, Wes Unseld and Kevin Love, the most recent player to do it with 20.2 points and 15.2 rebounds in 2010-11.
“To me he’s the best center in the NBA – by far the best center in the Eastern Conference,” Cavaliers coach Byron Scott told news reporters in late November. “I think coaches and players are starting to recognize how well he’s playing.”
You know who else is recognizing Varejao again? Team executives are taking note of Varejao’s play and relative value on team salary (due … [For more on Anderson Varejao subject of trade rumors: The NBA A-Z, click here.]