Anderson Varejao is very overrated.

Let me preface this by saying that I'm a huge Cavs fan (not a troll), and I'm also a huge Varejao fan. I loved the energy he brought during the LBJ years, and have really enjoyed him blossom into a quality big. What I have noticed is that our opinion of Varejao is (unfortunately) unrealistic and inflated, and that it would behoove us to trade him, even at a discount.

Let's start out with the obvious good: He went 14/14 on 48% shooting and high usage. He's a very good defender, who is one of the best passing bigs in the league. He has posted a PER better than 22, a mark better than comparable players like Paul Millsap. This article is not an indictment of Anderson Varejao's stats, or of advanced stats as a whole; I believe in Andy, and I believe in (actual) analytics.

The key to understanding why Andy is overrated is essentially that, although his stats look good, he is destroying the growth of TT. TT and Andy simply cannot exist on court together, meaning that one of them will have to go, or at least play limited minutes. Since Tristan is 9 years younger, I just think Andy needs to go.

With Andy and Tristan playing together (pts/reb/fg%/fta/+/- per 36 minutes):

Andy: 11.7/14.2/42%/3.2/-1.5

TT: 10.5/8.9/45%/2.7/-1.5

Isn't that odd? Tristan and Andy are BOTH pretty awful when the other one is on the floor. Both are incredibly inefficient, dont get to the line much, and Andy clearly cuts into Tristan's rebounding. The Cavs as a team are a mildly bad -1.5.

When playing alone:

Andy: 17.3/14.7/55%/5.3/-5.1

TT: 12.7/11.9/51%/4.1/-2.0

Again, really odd. They both morph into monsters when the other is on the pine. Andy becomes a super-efficient high usage monster, he is just as good a rebounder, and he gets to the line a ton. Tristan becomes a much better scorer AND rebounder, highlighted by his increased trips to the line. What really amazes me about these stats is that the Cavs are about just as bad when Tristan plays and Andy sits as when they both play (about a .5 points/36 difference). But when Tristan leaves and Andy plays alone, the Cavs are three times worse than when they both play.

Here is the takeaway: Andy puts up better #s than Tristan, pretty much all the time. But they cannot play together at all, because they both stink together. But the Cavs are a better team when Tristan plays and Andy sits, and I can't really explain why. Plus, Tristan is much younger and much less injury prone. If they cannot exist together, the Cavs must trade Andy ASAP.

On a side note, I think these stats blow a gaping hole in the idea that, "If we trade Andy our whole team goes to shit." Our lineup with Tristan in and Andy out is bad, but its not a disaster. Meanwhile, our lineup with Andy in and Tristan out is despicable. We really should view Andy as a nice piece, but really an asset that cannot be part of our long-term future. I'm sure some of you will disagree, because we all love Andy, but it just seems like he makes us worse. Discuss!

This is a Fan-Created Comment on The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff at FearTheSword

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