Intriguing Varejao Deadline Trade

Let me preface the following post by saying I do not think this will happen and that I will explain why towards the end.

The following scenario operates under the following assumptions.

1. The Cavs take Noel.

2. They sign a cheap backup power forward in free agency after Speights leaves. (or they could just really like Kevin Jones)

3. They take a small forward later in the draft. (This would most likely be by using the 19th and the second rounders to move up.)

Under this scenario, I believe the following will be our situation when approaching the deadline.

1. Noel will be out until January.

2. The small forward we draft will not start. This may be unpopular but I do not think a small forward taken in the 10-20 range will beat out Gee (see WitMi's post). His defense likely will not be as advanced and very few small forwards score prolifically in their rookie seasons.

So at this point, you are looking at a rotation of...

Irving/ Livingston (assuming he resigns)


Gee/Draft Pick/Miles

Thompson/ Free Agent


As we approach the deadline, Noel will be coming back from injury and the time may be ripe to make a playoff push. So because we will get an extra big when Noel is available, one that needs playing time I might add, one of our bigs becomes surplus. Meanwhile, our weakest position appears to be at small forward. At this point, I think it is possible one of two trades happen.

1. Varejao for Danny Granger

2. Varejao for Luol Deng

Why Trade #1 Works

Danny Granger has become surplus for the Indiana Pacers because of the emergence of Paul George. Meanwhile in Cleveland, Varejao and Thompson both have similar styles in that they have growing offensive games and rebound a lot. However, Andy is not the defender he once was and Noel has the capability of changing the defensive culture of a franchise. So you have two veteran leaders who are no longer needed because of the emergence of young and cheaper players. This trade also works because neither player is under team control for very long. Granger would become a free agent after the end of the season while Varejao has a team option. Both players are also labeled as "injury prone," so you cannot really say either team is taking a greater risk. This works for the Cavs because they can add a veteran leader who can score and play some D and help you with your playoff push far more than Andy could. (Those of you that disagree with the previous statement, Noel plays better post D than Andy while Granger becomes one of our best perimeter defender and scores the ball.) Considering the Pacers' depth issues, it would be in their best interest to get a pretty skilled--especially at passing--big man who cleans the glass. The Cavs are so far under the cap that the salaries would work out.

Why Trade #2 Works

While many would argue that Noah and Varejao are the same player, Noah is a better defender and shot blocker while Varejao excels at rebounding, passing, and actually showed more range on his jumper this past season. The Bulls do not need their small forward because of the emergence of Jimmy Butler. Once again, neither player is under contract for very long. Most importantly , the trade allows the Bulls to save an a**load money because Andy allows them to amnesty Carlos Boozer the ensuing offseason and therefore make themselves players in the 2014 Free Agency Bonanza. They also can decline Varejao's option and save even more money if they need to. For the Cavs, they get a great defender and fringe all-star who can also score a little to make that playoff push, yet he leaves their cap space free for the 2014 Free Agency Bonanza.

What Would the Cavs Look Like the Rest of the Year?

A little like this.



(Deng or granger)/ Rookie/Gee

Thompson/Free Agent Power Forward/Jones


At this point. we have some pretty awesome depth that could be augmented by an Oden signing if you do not like the bigs' depth. We would have an awesome starting lineup (Assuming Zeller beefs up). Noel and Zeller would largely be splitting time with Noel's minutes rising as he gets the hang of the whole Professional-basketball-player-thing. Then Deng/Granger's salary comes off the books and we can dive head first into the 2014 Free Agent Bonanza and even offer the guy we traded for more than other teams if they play extremely well because the re-signing team can offer more under the CBA.

Why it Will Not Happen

I do not think that the Cavs will actually end up trading Varejao ever because they simply like him too much for that to happen. In addition, the 2013 draft and free agency scenario will most likely not play out as I predicted. Also, the other teams may trade Granger or Deng in the offseason or to another team at the deadline. They may not want Varejao because of another injury or fit in general. Finally, just look at the poll and you will know exactly why this trade is unlikely.

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

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