Report: Anderson Varejao, Cleveland Cavaliers talking contract extension

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Anderson Varejao is the bridge — he was a Cleveland Cavalier when LeBron James bolted for Miami, he was still there when LeBron came home this summer. He is still the starting center, and he says he wants to stay in Cleveland (no kidding, now that they are good again). More importantly, LeBron likes playing with him and wants him to stay.

The Cavaliers are looking to make that happen.

The two sides are negotiating a possible contract extension, reports Adrain Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are engaged in serious talks with center Anderson Varejao on a contract extension, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Talks have progressed in recent weeks, but there’s no agreement imminent, sources said. Varejao, 32, could become an unrestricted free agent in July 2015. Nevertheless, he and Cavaliers officials have a mutual desire to reach an agreement in the near future and continue a 10-year partnership.

Varejao is strong on the glass, both offensively and defensively, and he’s a good man defender in the paint (just not a classic rim protector). The Brazilian plays a smart game, is an excellent passer and is just the kind of glue guy every contending team could use. They will need his size and play against the Bulls.

The question is how much can they pay him? Varejao will make $9.7 million this season but the Cavaliers have big money committed to LeBron, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving next season (combined they are more than $53 million) and the team will have other holes to fill. I’m sure the team would love him to take a home town discount, but the fact is big men get paid.

Expect some kind of deal to get done, although they have time to work this out (this is not his rookie deal so they have all season to find a number).