The Cleveland Cavaliers power forward and first-time Brazilian Olympian Anderson Varejao has been the talk of the NBA lately. With his name dropped in numerous discussions concerning trade rumors and “teams that can take down Team USA,” Varejao has been relatively quiet. He has played great for Brazil as of late, considering that he was out most of last season with a wrist injury.
In 25 games before suffering that wrist injury against the Milwaukee Bucks, the veteran forward was averaging a double-double, putting up 10.8 points and grabbing 11.5 rebounds while shooting 51.4 percent. Statistically and with putting effort into the equation Varejao was on course to have the best season on his career. He was on a tear, playing with more aggressiveness in the 25 games than he had in his previous seven seasons combined.
Now Varejao has been linked to many trade rumors, with some basketball experts saying that the Cavaliers were going to offer him up in a trade for Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum or send him off to another team to make room for amnestied power forward Luis Scola. The Cavaliers have since denied involvement in any more Dwight Howard trade talks and Scola’s bid was won by the Phoenix Suns.
These Varejao trade talks first surfaced, however, around draft time, as the Cavaliers told teams they were open to deal the power forward for a possible draft-day trade. He hasn’t said anything and nothing has been confirmed whether the Cavaliers were seriously looking to deal Varejao, but it is a big possibility seeing that he has been injury prone the last few seasons and that the Cavs are looking to build a younger-based team.
The trade rumors are the last thing on Varejao’s mind. This is the first time that Andy has been able to compete in the Olympic games, as Brazil wasn’t a participant in the previous games that Wild Thing was eligible for. Although injured most of the 2011-12 season, Varejao was thrilled to find out he would be healthy enough to compete in London in July.
He has performed at a very high level this summer so far.
In the 80-69 loss to the United States, Andy and Brazil made a statement, but couldn’t finish down the stretch. The Cavs power forward, who has been more of a center type as of late, scored 13 points while collecting 12 rebounds. The frontcourt of Brazil helped the team to get out to a 10-point lead at the start of the second quarter. His shot selection was on point Monday night, as he shot a team-best six for nine from the field.
Andy and Brazil used their strength to out rebound the Americans 38-30, but 26 turnovers soon erased any defensive accomplishment they may have achieved. They provided a formidable test for the U.S., who many have heard them say that Brazil may have the next best chance of winning a gold medal.
We will just have to see if the Brazil “Big Three” can get the job done next time around.