Cavs expected to apply for hardship exception regarding Anderson Varejao

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

The Cleveland Cavaliers have had their share of injuries this season, as we well know.

And in a recent game at the Washington Wizards this past Sunday, even after Dylan Windler and Taurean Prince were set to be done for the year as of last week due to left knee and left ankle surgeries to then come/had come, the injury bug hit again.

In that Wizards game, Matthew Dellavedova suffered a neck strain, and both Isaiah Hartenstein and Lamar Stevens sustained concussions.

Unfortunately, along with those three, Larry Nance Jr., who has had a number of injuries throughout this season, fractured his right thumb in that one and looks to potentially be done for the rest of the year.

Part of the big injury situation, in particular, was likely leading to the Cavs signing Mfiondu Kabengele to what’s set to be reportedly a rest of season deal, with two seasons following non-guaranteed.

One bit of news from Friday, though, was pretty shocking with former longtime Cavaliers big Anderson Varejao reportedly planning to sign with Cleveland for the rest of the season.

With the Cavs’ situation, and with both two-way slots taken, they do not have roster spots available to do so. So how could that play out, then?

Well the answer could be this, per a report from Chris Fedor of on early Saturday stating that the Cavs are soon expected to apply for a hardship exception. That’d be with Varejao getting a 10-day deal essentially for a farewell set of games for his career ending out with the club he played 12 seasons with.

I get where the Cavs are coming from here in this sense with Andy.

Admittedly, I was questioning if Cleveland could make this potential move work, but the Cavs might be able to here, and giving Varejao a mini-farewell tour of sorts if they are granted that hardship exception would be quite the flashback, as KJG’s John Carter hit on.

In regards to how the Wine and Gold could make this work, here was more on that, as Fedor alluded to in his report above. Firstly, he noted how to apply for that, clubs must have “four players who have missed at least three games due to illness or injury and will continue to be out at least two weeks.”

From there, he was more from Fedor, who first touched on the Delly neck strain and broke it down further.

"“Dellavedova missed his third straight game Friday night and has not been with the team in any capacity since the injury. He will likely miss the remainder of the season.”"

Then Fedor touched on the situation with Hartenstein, Stevens and Nance.

"“Isaiah Hartenstein (concussion), Larry Nance Jr. (fractured right thumb) and Lamar Stevens (concussion) have also been inactive for the last three games. The Cavs aren’t yet sure which player, if any, could return before May 16 — the season finale in Brooklyn. If they submit the hardship paperwork — and qualify — one would have to be done for the year. The plan is to then Varejao to a 10-day deal — the only contract allowed under the hardship exception.”"

We’ll then have to see what plays out involving which of those pieces is ultimately done, assuming that paperwork is submitted. I’d think Nance could very well be that player, in that case.

In regards to Varejao, anyway, with the Cavaliers situation as of late and the club being so handcuffed regarding injuries, this sort of ending tour for him would be I guess something to look forward to, to an extent, from a fan’s perspective in that sense.

Also involving the injury front, for instance, Darius Garland also had to leave Friday’s loss against the Wizards early too because of an ankle injury and he clearly is not going to be 100 percent for a bit either. That was yet another blow, especially with how well Garland has been playing and him having had 20.5 points and 7.3 assists per outing in April.

With what would we could from Varejao, though, I have no clue really. He last was in action in 2016-17 with the Golden State Warriors, who he signed with back in 2016 after having been dealt by Cleveland to the Portland Trail Blazers via three-team deal. And Portland shortly thereafter waived him, leading to him to sign then with Golden State.

More from King James Gospel

He would then play two seasons in Brazil, and won a title with Flamengo in 2019 and was a member of the Brazilian World Cup club that year, too.

For Cavs fans, if he is ultimately added via the hardship exception, though, there will be the proverbial trip down memory lane, and the “Wild Thing” days back in LeBron James’ first stint with the Wine and Gold especially.

Varejao was a good defensive piece that could guard multiple positions back then, and in his burn, provided constant energy for Cleveland.

The hair, defense, rebounding and overall hustle he showed in those days made him so fun to watch, albeit he is now 38, so what we could see from Andy with the Cavs now is tough to foresee currently. It should be intriguing, though.

Varejao, who had 7.6 points and 7.5 rebounds per game in his long tenure with the Wine and Gold, getting a farewell tour of sorts, if he’s eventually added, is a move I can understand, given the hardship exception, I guess.

Next. Cleveland Cavaliers: Top 30 all-time greatest players. dark

Both sides ultimately wanted him to retire a Cav, so in this sort of way, I get it. The thought of Andy with the Cavaliers again, in any capacity on the floor, though, is still pretty wild.