This is bad for Cleveland.
Anderson Varejao was having an All-Star level season — 14.1 points and 14.4 rebounds a game, carrying more offense and playing good defense. He has a PER of 22. All that was making him attractive to other teams, and for a rebuilding Cavaliers team they might have been able to make a good trade shipping him out.
Varejao will undergo knee surgery on Thursday and be out six to eight weeks, the team announced Wednesday.
That will pretty much kill his trade value. Teams may still poke around but the value of their offer goes way down.
Varejao had been diagnosed with a bruised right knee that would cost him a couple weeks, and he did have that, but the MRIs revealed a small split in the vastus medialis, the “teadrop” muscle in the thigh that connects to the knee. That small tear was herniating and leading to other complications, which led both the team doctor and a specialist to recommend surgery.
The Cavaliers can’t catch an injury break. Kyrie Irving missed most of the start of the season although his return hasn’t brought a lot of wins, the Cavs have lost six of their last seven. Now this. Look for a lot more Tyler Zeller, but that is a pretty big drop off from the level Varejao was playing at.
Just a rough season in Cleveland.
Chris Paul broke his finger Saturday.
The initial diagnosis said the injury wasn’t serious.
Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times:
Paul obviously wouldn’t push it during the preseason. If the Clippers are allowing him to play, this can’t be bad.
Really, the most challenging aspect to this is grasping the concept that a broke finger can be a minor injury.
Brad Stevens has a big challenge this year – sorting the Celtics’ deep roster of similarly able players.
It seems that process is shaking out at power forward and center.
A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN Northeast:
it appears Boston’s first four bigs will be starters David Lee and Tyler Zeller, with Amir Johnson and Kelly Olynyk off the bench.
That leaves Jonas Jerebko and Jared Sullinger, potentially on the outside looking in as far as the regular rotation is concerned.
Lee is the best passer of the bunch, which could partially explain why he’s starting. Boston’s most likely starting point guard, Marcus Smart, is still growing into the role of the lead ball-handler at the NBA level. Lee and presumptive starting shooting guard Avery Bradley can take some pressure off him.
Olynyk can space the floor for Isaiah Thomas-Johnson pick-and-rolls with the reserves and run pick-and-pops with Thomas himself.
I’m a little surprised Zeller is starting over Johnson, though. The Celtics just signed Johnson to a $12 million salary, and I thought they’d rely on his defense to set a tone early. Like Johnson, Zeller is a quality pick-and-roll finisher who can thrive with Thomas.
This is particularly bad news for Sullinger, who – barring a surprising contract extension – is entering a contract year. It seems those reports of offseason conditioning haven’t yet paid off. Jerebko’s deal also isn’t guaranteed beyond this season, but at least he has already gotten his mid-sized payday. Sullinger is still on his rookie-scale contract.