Anderson Varejao has played all 10 of his NBA seasons as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers, and if he has his way, he won’t ever play anywhere else.
Varejao is entering the final year of his contract, and will become an unrestricted free agent at the conclusion of next season. But unlike players who use that situation to force a trade out of town, Varejao would prefer to remain in Cleveland not just beyond next season, but for the duration of his career, as well.
You’ve played 10 seasons in the NBA, all of them in Cleveland. You will be in a contract year this season. What do you expect?
AV: I want to stay in Cleveland, I really don’t think about that. They know what I want to do, they know I want to stay.
Would you like to retire in Cleveland?
AV: I want to.
There’s a comfort level playing for one team in one city over the life of one’s career, and with LeBron James and Kevin Love now in the fold, it’s not like there are many more exciting situations around the league for Varejao to pursue.
But what will be interesting to see is whether or not the Cavaliers feel the same way.
Varejao has been injury prone in recent years, and it’s unclear whether he can contribute enough defensively on a Cleveland team with championship aspirations. The Cavaliers are a bit thin in terms of their frontcourt rotation, and teams may be willing to take on Varejao’s expiring contract in trade.
If a deal involving Varejao could be made to improve the roster, Cleveland would be foolish not to consider it.