Cleveland Cavaliers: Should Andy Come Home?
After being waived from the Golden State Warriors, is it time for Anderson Varejao to head back to Cleveland?
Anderson Varejao was a fan favorite for his 11 years that he spent in Cleveland. His infectious hustle, tenacious rebounding, and stifling pick-and-roll defense became his calling card as he won the hearts of Ohioans everywhere. As his athleticism and talent level declined, Varejao saw less minutes, and eventually he was traded away to Portland.
When Portland waived Varejao and he signed with Golden State, many Cavs fans viewed it as a direct betrayal. The Warriors are Cleveland’s one true rival, and seeing a Cleveland favorite defect to the enemy struck many Clevelanders the wrong way. It was infuriating to see him hustle and draw fouls in the NBA finals for any team that wasn’t the Cavaliers, let alone the one that they were competing against. However, after Cleveland won its first ring all is forgiven.
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Friday afternoon Varejao was released by the Warriors in favor of signing D-Leaguer Brainte Weber. Cleveland has been looking for roster improvements, and after Chris Andersen had his season ending injury, they’re in need of a fourth big man for the rotation. Could Andy be heading back to Cleveland?
What does Varejao bring?
Varejao’s play hasn’t been stellar over the past couple years, but a reunion with Cleveland may be the rejuvenation that he needs. After his Achilles injury in 2014 Andy’s athleticism has declined quite a bit, but he proved in the finals that he still has veteran savvy and knows how to make NBA plays on the highest of stages. On a championship-caliber roster like Cleveland, Varejao wouldn’t find many minutes, but he would be able to use his experience and work-ethic to help the team in the locker room, and maybe provide a few minutes of rest for the other bigs.
It can’t be ignored that signing Varejao would be a mental edge for the Cavaliers in a match-up against Golden State. Varejao is extremely familiar with the play-styles and tendencies of his Golden State teammates.
That knowledge would be extremely valuable for Cleveland who is expecting to match up with them in the Finals for the third straight year. It may also have an effect on the Warriors to have to go against a player they’ve been on a team with so recently.
Anderson may not be the roster improvement the Cavs are looking for, but he could contribute to them team in multiple ways. Nostalgia alone would bring many fans to welcome him back with open arms, and Cleveland would be extra motivated to help Varejao earn the ring that he certainly deserves.
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