Amidst the high-profile injuries to Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, it’s easy to forget that the Cavaliers have also been without veteran big man Anderson Varejao for most of the year. Varejao suffered a torn left Achilles in December and has been out ever since. Chatter has persisted that he might return during the Finals, but ESPN.com’s Marc Stein shot that down yet again on Sunday:
It would help the Cavs on the glass and in the paint to get Varejao back, but it probably wouldn’t change the outcome of the series much. The loss of Irving means Cleveland has no go-to scoring options outside of LeBron James, and that’s too big a deficit to overcome. Varejao doesn’t change that. Given that he just signed a three-year, $30 million extension in October, it’s worth taking a long-term approach with him, rather than playing him in a Finals series they aren’t going to win anyway.