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.
From Raul Barrigon of HoopsHype:
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.
WASHINGTON (AP) — WNBA All-Star Kristi Toliver will be an assistant coach for player development for the NBA’s Washington Wizards this season.
Toliver’s job was one of several changes to coach Scott Brooks’ staff announced by the Wizards on Tuesday, two days before they host the Miami Heat to open the season.
Toliver played for the Washington Mystics and helped them reach the WNBA Finals this year, when she also assisted the Wizards’ coaching staff during the NBA Summer League and training game. She is a 10-year pro and two-time All-Star who won an NCAA title at Maryland.
She joins David Adkins, Mike Terpstra and Maz Trakh on the back of the Wizards’ bench. Alex McLean and Landon Tatum were both promoted to assistant coach for player development.
Robert Pack and Ryan Richman will be with Brooks and Tony Brown on the front of the bench.
Pack was a scout for the Portland Trail Blazers last season, after spending two seasons as an assistant coach for the New Orleans Pelicans. He also was an assistant to Brooks with the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2013-15.
We picked the Celtics, Raptors, 76ers and Bucks to be the top four teams in the Eastern Conference this year and ranked the Wizards and Pacers next. If that’s not the consensus, it’s close to it.
Wizards guard Austin Rivers, via James Herbert of CBSSports.com:
“I think we’re heavily slept-on,” he tells me. “Team’s been to the playoffs, what, the last five, four or five years? Then going into this year, you add me, Dwight Howard, Jeff Green and nobody seems to talk about us. So I just think we’re heavily slept-on, but that’s fine. At the end of the day, nothing really matters until the season starts and we set that tone for ourselves. I get the hype of a couple of the other teams, but I think we have a chance to compete with the best of the East.”
I tell him I recently spoke to Tyreke Evans, who said something similar about the Indiana Pacers. Rivers gets more animated.
“Yeah, I would say Indiana’s the other team that gets slept-on, too,” he says. “You look at Indiana, they took Cleveland to seven games and then damn near, arguably could have beaten them.”
Rivers rattles off Evans’ stats from last season, then continues: “That’s who they just added to the team? And nobody seems to talk about the Pacers because everybody’s so f—ing gassed up on the Celtics and the Sixers. And rightfully so: they’re both talented teams. But Indiana is just as good as both those teams. And I think we’re in the same situation.”
I agree the Wizards and Pacers had positive offseasons. But Indiana might have been punching slightly above its weight as a surprise team last year, and Washington’s problem has often been overconfidence.
In that regard, Rivers – acquired in an offseason trade from the Clippers – is already fitting right in. The brashness might be good for Rivers, but it’s not what the Wizards need.
Washington could have a good season. John Wall, Bradley Beal and Otto Porter are a strong starting point in the Eastern Conference, and Dwight Howard could help with the right attitude and health. Rivers is a quality reserve. But let’s pump the brakes on calling Jeff Green a key addition, though Rivers would be only one of many – including someone in his immediate family – to make that error.
Klay Thompson, who will become an unrestricted free agent next summer, has said many times he plans to stay with the Warriors. He even discussed signing a contract extension, which would have capped his compensation far below what he could get in free agency.
But Thompson is apparently no longer interested in offering Golden State that savings.
Zach Lowe of ESPN:
Thompson has no plans to take a discount, and the Warriors don’t expect him to, league sources say.
Thompson’s max next summer projects be about about $221 million over five years if he makes an All-NBA team (or wins Defensive Player of the Year) this season or about $190 million over five years if he doesn’t.
That’s a steep bill, but the Warriors have little choice but to pay it. They’re in the midst of maybe the greatest run in NBA history, and they’re generating massive revenue. Cheapness would be a terrible reason to break up this team. Thompson is a key contributor, and at least his outside shooting should help the 28-year-old age well.
But costs will get steep in a hurry. If the Warriors re-sign Thompson and Kevin Durant next summer and Draymond Green the following summer to max – not even supermax – deals, keep Stephen Curry then fill the roster with 10 minimum-salary free agents, their projected payroll in 2020-21 would be… about $288 million, including about $115 million in luxury tax. That might be untenable, even for Golden State.
Perhaps, Durant will take one decision out of the Warriors’ hands. But if Durant stays and Thompson seeks every penny, Green could face a belt-tightening team in 2020 free agency.