The Cleveland Cavaliers have been talking about trading away power forward Anderson Varejao ever since draft time rolled along. Talks of trading Varejao for the Luis Scola via trade or by claiming him off the amnesty wire have progressed ever since the Houston Rockets waived the five-year veteran on Friday. The Rockets are trying to clear cap space in order to land Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard and take on the contracts of Hedo Turkoglu, Jason Richardson, Glen Davis and/or Chris Duhon.
The Cavaliers and the Dallas Mavericks, who have already claimed power forward Elton Brand off the amnesty wire, have expressed the most interest in claiming the five-year Argentinian project. Any team that is willing to place a bid on Scola must offer up more than $3 million for year one and more than $10 million over three years. He had $21 million over three years left on his contract with Houston.
The Charlotte Bobcats, New Orleans Hornets and Sacramento Kings have also expressed interest in claiming Scola. If he isn’t claimed by any team, which is a huge stretch, the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs would be eager to snatch up Scola. That will only be possible if he clears waivers. Only teams that are under the cap can place a bid on Scola. The bidding period will end on Sunday at 5 p.m. if all five interested teams place a dollar amount on the former Houston Rocket.
According to Marc Stein the Cavaliers have been targeting Scola for awhile and were also listening to trade offers from teams during the draft. If the Cavaliers do win the rights for Scola via the amnesty wire Varejao will most certainly be put on the trading block, as the Cavaliers would go with Scola as their starting power forward. Although Varejao played the five at times last season, Scola would not be able to fill that position. Varejao is two inches taller and 15 pounds heavier than the Argentinian.
Cleveland would obvisouly be trying to bolster their offense with acquiring Scola, who averaged 15.5 points last season. His frame and defensive skills would not make him expendable at the center position like Varejao is, as he averaged 5.0 rebounds, 0.9 steals and 0.3 blocks less than the Cavs power forward did last season. Varejao only played in 25 games last season due to a wrist injury that sidelined him for the final 41 games.
Cleveland, who has made trade offers to the Rockets and Golden State Warriors, is trying to build their team around the players they have obtained in the two previous drafts. Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson (who started at the five at times last season), Tyler Zeller and Dion Waiters are the four players that the Cavaliers are hoping will develop into long-term starters. Adding the 32-year-old Scola to the team (Varejao is only 29 years old) will definitely bring veteran leadership and health to the starting lineup.
In his first five seasons in the NBA Scola has played in 386 games, averaging 14.5 points and 7.7 rebounds while shooting 51.0 percent from the field. In the past five seasons Varejao has only played in 261 games, averaging 8.5 points and 8.2 rebounds while shooting 52.8 percent. Injuries have haunted Varjeao’s career thus far, but has always came back with the same athleticism and energy that he takes to the court every game.
Varejao will find a home very quickly if he is discarded by the Wine and Gold, but i feel like the fan base will be very saddened to see Andy leave. Although a starter in Cleveland, Wild Thing could be the explosive sixth man that championship-type teams are looking for on the market. A team like the Boston Celtics could benefit from adding Varejao, who was having the best season of his career last season before an early-season injury derailed his double-double average (10.8 points and 11.5 rebounds).
In terms of where the Cavaliers are heading, I think that picking up Scola and trading Varejao, who has four years remaining on his contract, would be in the best interest of the team. With the big man going down twice in the last two seasons, it is unlikely that Varejao will return to the form he was in at the beginning of the 2011-12 season. He’s a huge question mark health-wise, and Scola would compliment Irving much more as he has a nice mid-range game.
Do you think the Cavaliers will land Scola? Should the Cavaliers part ways with Varejao with or without the addition of Scola?