Although they don’t currently have an available roster spot, the Cleveland Cavaliers plan to sign veteran center Anderson Varejao, per Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.
Cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor adds that the Cavs plan to apply for a hardship exception in order to execute the transaction; teams are able to apply for the exception if they have four players who have missed at least three games due to injury or illness.
Currently, the Cavs have wings Taurean Prince and Dylan Windler shelved for the remainder of the season following successful surgeries. Fan favorite Matthew Dellavedova, who has battled injuries all year, is currently out with a neck strain and likely to miss the remainder of the season.
Meanwhile, rotation mainstay Larry Nance Jr. is recovering from a fractured thumb while a pair of backend rotation players in Isaiah Hartenstein and Lamar Stevens are recouping from concussions.
Should the Cavs be out of running for the play-in tournament, Nance will likely be out for the season, creating the avenue to sign Varejao to a 10-day contract and give him a ceremonial send-off.
Varejao, now 38-years-old, spent the first 12-plus seasons of his career playing for Cleveland.
One utilized as a spark plug off the bench, where he earned the nicknames ‘Wild Thing’ and ‘Sideshow Bob,’ Varejao developed into a skilled big men in the league by the time the traded to the Golden State Warriors in the infamous deal that landed them sharpshooter Channing Frye.
Unfortunately, a bit of love seemed to be lost between Andy V and the Cavs following the deal, with the former second-round pick refusing to accept a championship ring from Cleveland following the trade. Signing with the Warriors for one more season, Varejao hasn’t played professionally since 2018-19, when he was suiting up for the Brazilian NBB’s Flamengo.
Among the leaders in Cavs franchise history, Varejao ranks eighth in career games (591); sixth in career rebounds (4,434); eighth in career steals (529); and is tied for eighth in career blocks (397) with five-time All-Star Brad Daugherty.