A fan-favorite Cleveland Cavalier is reportedly coming back.
As first reported by The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Cavs are going to sign veteran big man Anderson Varejão for the remainder of the season. Varejão, 38, was last in the NBA in the 2016-17 season when he was with the Golden State Warriors. He spent the first 11-plus years of his career with the Cavs, becoming fan-favorite in the process. He was traded to Portland in 2016 in a salary dump and ended up with the Warriors after being waived by the Trail Blazers.
13-year NBA veteran Anderson Varejao plans to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers for the remainder of the season, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Varejao is returning to the franchise with which he’s spent 12 decorated years.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 30, 2021
Varejao played in 2017-18 and 2018-19 back in his native Brazil and won a championship in 2019. He was originally picked in the second round of the 2004 NBA Draft by the Orlando Magic and then traded to Cleveland as part of a deal that also involved Drew Gooden. For his career, Varejao averaged 7.3 points and 7.2 rebounds per game.
The trick here is that the Cavs do not currently have an open roster spot, so there isn’t a way to sign him unless they make another move first. Oddly, if the team had not just signed forward Mfiondu Kabengele to a multi-year deal, there would have been a roster spot available for Varejao. Now, they’ll have to make a move to make it happen and bring in Varejao for the final games.
By all accounts, this is likely to be a end-of-career moment for Varejao and not a path for him to have another run at an NBA career.