Anderson Varejao is about to step back on the trade rumor circuit.
For as long as both he and Lebron James were together in Cleveland, Varejao came up in trade rumors because he was the one piece on that roster (other than LeBron) teams coveted. If the Cavs were going to bring talent in, Varejao was going to have to go out.
It never happened, then LeBron left and it seemed he would be traded, however talk died down when he tore ligaments in his ankle and missed much of the 2011 season. This season Varejao is healthy and playing the physical defense and doing the dirty work in the paint that plenty of teams could use.
You know Varejao’s name will come up in trade rumors again, but coach Byron Scott told the Akron Beacon Journal he wants to keep the Brazilian (via Eye on Basketball).
“It would have to be an unbelievable person to get back,” Scott said when asked if the Cavs could part with Varejao. “I look at him as one of the guys you look at and say ‘He’s not going anywhere.’ I just feel that strongly about him and what he means to this team.”
Consider that Scott trying to up the price. Varejao has three years and $27 million left on his deal for a role player that is of modest use to a rebuilding team. They can get some talent and picks back for him that helps them rebuild, and if that offer comes they have to seriously consider it. Varejao can help a contender right now, the Cavs are years away from being in that spot.
But would it shock me if the Cavs kept him? Nothing the Cavs do shocks me any more.
The New York Knicks couldn’t get out of their own way on Thursday night, even with a historic performance from Carmelo Anthony. With the Washington Wizards in town, it was John Wall‘s finishing ability that pushed the Wiz over New York, 113-110.
The final 45 seconds were hectic, as Wall took the lead for Washington with just 32 seconds left after drawing a foul on Carmelo.
Down by 1, Anthony then missed a jumper with 18 seconds left and the Knicks allowed Wall to do this:
Wall would go on to steal the final possession from the Knicks, and the Wizards left MSG with a win.
Gregg Popovich can be a fiesty dude, and sometimes he just wants to get his team pumped up. After news that Pau Gasol was going to be absent from the San Antonio Spurs’ lineup against the Denver Nuggets on Thursday, perhaps this was his way of doing that?
Late in the second quarter in Denver, Popovich was seen arguing with a baseline official as play continued on. Pop was hit with an initial tech, and as the officiating crew walked away he blasted ’em with the best dad insult I’ve heard in a long time.
“You’re a terrible referee!”
Meanwhile, Emmanuel Mudiay was more than happy to assist with the second technical and ejection portion of Popovich’s tirade.
Long Live Pop.
Kristaps Porzingis is “The Unicorn” perhaps in part because of his high basketball awareness on the offensive end of the floor. On Thursday night against the Washington Wizards, the New York Knicks big man had an incredible putback dunk that surprised even his teammates.
Thanks to a missed Courtney Lee 3-pointer, Porzingis was able to fly in from beyond the arc to slam home two points.
Yeah, that’s crazy.
There’s putback dunks and then there’s flying in from beyond the 3-point line like this one. Wild.
The San Antonio Spurs will have to make do without PF/C for a while Pau Gasol thanks to a recent fracture in his left ring finger.
That’s according to a press release from the team, who said Gasol fractured his fourth metacarpal — the bone that connects the ring finger down to the carpal bones in the wrist area — during warmups before a game against the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night.
No word yet from the team on recovery time, but estimates given similar recent NBA player injuries suggest anywhere from 4-8 weeks.
Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward missed the first month of the season after fracturing his finger in early October. Cleveland Cavaliers PG Kyrie Irving missed around a month in 2012 with a similar injury.
Here’s hoping Gasol can make it back to the court quickly for the Spurs.