Anderson Varejao planning to sign with Cavs is quite the flashback

Big Anderson Varejao, then of the Cleveland Cavaliers, is pictured in pregame warmups. (Photo by Rocky Widner/Getty Images)
Big Anderson Varejao, then of the Cleveland Cavaliers, is pictured in pregame warmups. (Photo by Rocky Widner/Getty Images) /

Anderson Varejao was a heck of an energy contributor in his days with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and as a result, he was a token fan favorite.

That was most notably in LeBron James’ first stint with Cleveland, in particular. It’s been a while since he was with Cleveland, anyhow, but it appears Varejao is likely set to be headed back to the Cavaliers, though.

Per a report from Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium on Friday evening, Varejao is planning to sign with the Cavs for the rest of the season.

As Chris Fedor of pointed out, though, the Cavs do not currently have a roster spot available. But Fedor did report how the Cavaliers are looking to figure this out with Varejao.

This news involving the Cavs and Varejao is quite the flashback.

Anderson Varejao is coming home to the Cavaliers; he played overseas for two seasons and won a championship playing in Brazil in 2019. He played 12 seasons with the Cavs and essentially part of two with the Golden State Warriors.

Anderson was a longtime team veteran and a useful big man on the team for many years. The Orlando Magic originally drafted him with the first pick of the second round in 2004, but he was ultimately traded to Cleveland. His iconic hair and tough rebounding abilities made him a fan favorite.

Statistically, his most notable season was the 2012-13 season where he averaged a double-double with 14.1 points and 14.4 rebounds per game. That one, and number of others were cut short due to injury problems, though.

In his career with the Cavaliers, he was solid, however, and had 7.6 points and 7.5 rebounds per contest in that span.

He also was named to the All-Defensive Second Team and finished third in the Sixth Man of the Year race in the 2009-2010 season. The team finished with 61 wins before running into the stubborn Boston Celtics in the second round.

Anderson was traded from the team after 12 seasons as part of the Channing Frye trade in 2016. Coincidentally this was also the year the team finally brought that elusive championship back home. Unfortunately, Anderson signed with the Warriors that season after being waived by Portland.

Anderson was eligible for a ring from the Cavs since he was a member of the team that season but chose to decline it. The following season he was awarded a ring since he was a member of the Warriors who won the championship that season.

It was unfortunate how his career panned out at the time in my eyes. As a member of the Cavaliers from the beginning of the LeBron era, he was the only one left from the team that LeBron left for the Miami Heat.

It would have been nice for him to get a ring after getting so close with the team for all those years, but from the competitor’s perspective, it makes sense since he wasn’t technically on the roster when it was won.

The news regarding Varejao came out of left field and caught every fan off-guard, particularly with the club set to formally sign Mfiondu Kabengele via rest of season deal on Saturday, with two years following non-guaranteed, for context.

In any case, after leaving the league he played in Brazil, Varejao averaged 10 points and 7 rebounds per game in their 2019 World Cup run.

This move is a fan pleaser for a season that has not lived to its full potential and is beginning to wind down quickly. With Larry Nance Jr. sidelined, this move can provide some veteran depth to the roster and another chance to see Andy play for the Wine and Gold.

Albeit as Fedor noted, the Cavaliers will have to figure something out here to sign Varejao. But as Chris Manning of Fear The Sword suggested, perhaps could very well end up just being an “end-of-career moment” for Varejao with Cleveland.

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We’ll have to see; this is quite the flashback involving the 38-year-old, though.