Cleveland Cavaliers: Anderson Varejao is so grateful for ending stint

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) /

On Tuesday, the Cleveland Cavaliers reportedly signed Anderson Varejao to a 10-day deal via the league’s hardship exception.

That’s been due to the squad being so injury-riddled to close out the season, and with Matthew Dellavedova (neck strain) and Larry Nance Jr. (fractured right thumb) set to miss the rest of the season, that cleared the way for a Varejao signing.

Furthermore, the Cavs will end up submitting a continuation for a second 10-day via the hardship exception for when that expires for a few more outings to come from there, per a report from Chris Fedor of

Now, one shouldn’t be expecting much from Varejao in this farewell run of sorts that’s set to be amid the season’s closing slate of games. Varejao, who is 38, essentially last played professionally in 2019, and two seasons with Brazilian club Flamengo, and he won a championship with them that year.

Granted, Anderson did reportedly have opportunities to play overseas since that point, and some NBA clubs wanted him to join in training camp/have run in preseason, but he chose to stay in Brazil/with his family/his wife, who was pregnant at the time. Fedor noted that in a report from Tuesday.

Varejao before that last played in the NBA with the Golden State Warriors for two seasons, which was a bit awkward for Cavs fans. And though he ended up signing with them after having been waived by the Portland Trail Blazers after Cleveland traded him there via three-team deal in 2016, I’m looking past that.

Varejao played for the Cavaliers for 12 seasons and averaged 7.6 points and 7.5 rebounds per outing in that tenure, and was most fondly remembered as being an energy big during LeBron James’ first stint with the Cavs.

The “Wild Thing,” as Varejao was often referred to by Cavs fans, was an especially active defender, and his hustling style made him so fun to watch in his run, whether that be off the bench or when starting.

Varejao was such a fan favorite, and it was so apparent that he loved playing for the Cavaliers, too. That, and Varejao being so appreciative of the Cavs fan base himself played largely into this farewell run of sorts for him, and with the Cavaliers being so banged up and bound for a high lottery pick once again, I understood this gesture by Cleveland and general manager Koby Altman.

Varejao’s comments about this end-of-career stint were awesome, too, and it was nice to see this introduction when he was announced back, although he didn’t play on Tuesday against the Phoenix Suns. This was via Tom Withers of the Associated Press.

Here was more in regards to those comments from Varejao’s recent media availability/the signing, via Cavaliers and Bally Sports Cleveland sideline reporter Angel Gray.

Varejao is clearly so grateful for this ending stint with the Cavs.

The comments above from Varejao, via Gray, highlighted how this farewell/end-of-career batch of games with the Cavaliers means so much to Andy.

Fedor also noted from that Varejao media availability how he was even seemingly excited just to be back getting in practice work with the team, also.

That was telling, frankly, and it just drives home how Varejao and the Cavs through the years mostly have had such a great relationship, regardless of the prior trade exit; that was tough on him initially. Plus, Evan Dammarell of Forbes and Fear The Sword touched on how even though he was “on the other side” of it, Varejao was happy for the Cavs and the city of Cleveland that the Wine and Gold won that title in 2016.

Now, how much we’ll end up seeing Varejao in there isn’t the simplest answer, and I’d personally expect Mfiondu Kabengele to get some more run to close out the season, as an aside. We could perhaps see the two get some burn together here and there, but I’d expect more of that with Kevin Love/Dean Wade.

No matter what the eventual run is for Varejao in this end-of-career stint/farewell burn, though, it’s a nice way for the Cavaliers to engage with the fan base, and it’s a cool sendoff for Andy. The love between him and Cavs fans will always be there.

Varejao, who is sixth in Cavs history in total rebounds, and eighth in total steals and blocks, gave his absolute all for the Wine and Gold in his tenure with them.

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

And with how things have shaken out/the team being so banged up, him out there a bit to close the season is pretty neat; you can tell he’s clearly pumped about it, too.