Cavs: Anderson Varejao could get decent PT to end out

Cleveland Cavaliers big Anderson Varejao shoots the ball. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers big Anderson Varejao shoots the ball. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

We get it, the Cleveland Cavaliers are not closing the season on a high note. That’s absolutely not how things have been, as Cleveland has lost 11 straight games.

The Cavs have been so banged up though, which hasn’t helped. The likes of Larry Nance Jr. (fractured right thumb), Matthew Dellavedova (neck strain), Taurean Prince (left ankle surgery) and Dylan Windler (left knee surgery) have been out for a good stretch here, and Darius Garland has missed the past six games (left ankle sprain).

But there have been positives of late, such as the way Collin Sexton has been playing, and Isaac Okoro has been coming along offensively. Both he (22 points and 10 rebounds) and Dean Wade (19 points and 12 rebounds) had their first career double-doubles for the Cavs in a Monday loss to the Indiana Pacers, for instance; the Cavs had a nice effort in that one with the team so thin as well.

Mfiondu Kabengele had another solid outing also with extended playing time, and hit two threes; he had nine points in 16 minutes, to go with four rebounds, an assist and a steal.

We’re well aware that Garland has had a bounce-back campaign for Cleveland, too, for what it’s worth, and Jarrett Allen looks to be a legitimate defensive anchor, provided he’s locked up this offseason.

Albeit with the Cavaliers again being so injury-riddled and with the team wrapping up its season this weekend, it seems evident that Anderson Varejao could get decent playing time here to end out. He’ll reportedly be signed again via second 10-day contract, it appears, when his first 10-day is done, too, so we should see Varejao in there to end out the season.

In that realm, while we didn’t see it in the first two games of his end-of-career stint, and he didn’t play versus Indiana, Varejao did play 16 minutes for Cleveland, even while it was in a blowout L to the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday. And with the way things have been shaking out, we could see more of Andy to end out here.

Varejao seems set for some decent playing time to end out this season/his career with the Cavs from here.

Varejao, before a few games ago, hadn’t played professionally since 2019, when he finished out his second year with Flamengo, the squad he played with for roughly two seasons. That was following Varejao’s stint in part of two seasons with the Golden State Warriors, for further context; his last action in the NBA was in 2017.

There reportedly was interest in him via training camp/preseason deals by NBA teams in the time since then, to go with overseas clubs having interest, though.

And Varejao, while I’m not suggesting we’d see it in starting minutes per se, has done alright, all things considered, with that. He had one point in his 11 minutes in his first two games, but in the first one against the Portland Trail Blazers, he at least had six rebounds, an assist and a block.

He would then have more extended run in that Dallas game on Sunday, and was in there early on. In those 16 minutes, the rust did admittedly show, and Varejao was one-of-five from the field, but did get to the free throw line six times. He hit three, albeit I’m not taking much from that.

He had eight rebounds, on a positive note, in those minutes, and him getting five points was fine.

With how the Cavs season is ending out here, Varejao would seem set for some decent playing time to end out in these last three outings, in any case.

I’d think he could have 15-16 minutes of PT in two of the games still, frankly, as the Cavaliers are so injury-riddled, and in this end-of-career stint, I’d get that from the team’s perspective.

They could feasibly have some spurts with Kabengele at the 4 even, with Wade as a jumbo 3 in there.

Realistically, as we know at this juncture, we shouldn’t expect anything major from Andy when he’s in there, but he still is a high IQ player that can be a solid screener, and is again a capable rebounder positionally.

Nonetheless, with the Cavs helping their lottery odds recently anyway, and for this end-of-career stint for Varejao, regarding him ending out with the team he had played over 11 seasons with, the Cavs might as well get him some decent PT to end out.

This team is so banged up, so getting Varejao 15-16 minutes of play in maybe two of these last three games, if he’s able, could be fine. I’d again imagine they could still get Kabengele his share of minutes too, and/or to go with Wade definitely.

We’ll see if that plays out for Varejao, but no matter the ending minutes-share for him to come here, this was obviously for the fan base.

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The 38-year-old Varejao is sixth all-time in Cavaliers history in rebounding, and eighth all-time in steals and blocks.