Add this to the, what in the world? And, I didn’t see that coming file.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania is reporting, Anderson Varejao is signing with the Cleveland Cavaliers for the remainder of the season.
Okay, I know you’re thinking this is a Portland Trail Blazers page. What does this have to do with the Portland Trail Blazers?
Five years ago, at the 2016 trade deadline, Cleveland sent Varejao to Portland in a three-team trade that sent former Blazer Channing Frye to the Cavs from Orlando, and Varejao and a future first-round pick to Portland. Later after Portland had acquired the 6’11 center, he was waived.
Here’s what makes this story even more interesting, or weird depending on how you look at it. The Blazers did waive Varejao, but they’re still paying him until the end of the 2020-2021 season, and the amount owed to him is 1,913,345.
So why did the Blazers trade for this player only to waive him? Austin Carroll, a contributor for Rip City Project, reported that Portland was $14 million under the league’s minimum cap threshold. That unpaid money would have been divided amongst the team roster that year if the Blazers didn’t make a move. They also traded for Miami’s Brian Roberts for future picks.
After the now 38-year-old cleared waivers, he signed with the Golden State Warriors for the minimum, while still being paid by Portland. ESPN reported that the Warriors needed additional front-court help with Andrew Bogut and Festus Ezeli, who later would sign with the Blazers, both out from injuries. Varejao played in 14 games that season for Golden State and was given a ring, as the Warriors were the eventual champions.
Varejao has not played in the NBA since 2017 and last played for Flamengo, a Brazilian team. He had averages of 7.3 points and 7.2 rebounds in 13 seasons, mostly with Cleveland.
This signing certainly is a head-scratcher.