The Cleveland Cavaliers are the only team Anderson Varejao has ever known. For a dozen seasons, he has seen the ups, the downs, and now the ups again in Cleveland.
And he doesn’t want out. Despite getting a DNP-CD in eight of the last 10 Cavaliers’ games and being well out of the rotation.
“If I go anywhere else and win a championship, it’s not going to be the same,” he said. “I want to win a championship in Cleveland. That’s where I want to stay. I love Cleveland….
“Of course, it’s not easy,” Varejao said. “It’s a different season for me. I said at the beginning of the season that my goal was to stay healthy and help this team. I’m not getting a lot of playing time, but I know the season is a long season. We still have the playoffs coming and anything can happen. I just have to stay ready and help the team when coach needs me.”
The question is will he have a choice? The Cavaliers are not expected to be major movers at the trade deadline, but they have a big man who, when healthy, can be a solid contributor and will make $10.3 million next season (or can be bought out for $9.5 million), then has a non-guaranteed season after that. The combination is going to get teams to call. The question becomes will the offers intrigue Cavaliers’ GM David Griffin enough to pull the trigger?
Varejao doesn’t want to go anywhere.
“Because Cleveland’s been loyal to me and I’ve been loyal to the team,” he responded. “I had a chance to leave when the team was really bad, going through a rebuilding process when we were losing almost every other game, and it was tough. I said, ‘I’m not leaving Cleveland. I want to win a championship in Cleveland’ and I know now we have a chance.”
You have to admire his loyalty and willingness to put team in front of personal numbers.