As the NBA trade deadline starts to creep up, look for front offices around the league to make a few phone calls to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Just don’t expect someone to pick up right away, at least if inquiring about the availability of Anderson Varejao.
This past week, the 29-year old power forward/center’s name has circulated in some reports as a player who will draw interest from GM’s with the two month countdown to the trade deadline underway. Healthy (after tearing a tendon in his ankle last season) and putting up solid numbers, Cavs head coach Byron Scott quickly squashed any rumors on the rise when it came to Varejao.
"It would have to be an unbelievable person to get back," Scott said Wednesday night.
"I look at him as one of the guys you look at and say, 'He's not going anywhere.' I just feel he's that valuable and feel that strongly about him and what he means to this team."
In nine starts, Varejao is averaging 9.4 points and 10.2 rebounds per game this season for Cleveland and once again being a game-changer on the defensive end. With three more seasons at $27 million left on his contract, his near double-double production and flexible salary make him a must have for teams contending for a title this season, yet the Cavs maintain they are not shopping Varejao.
That doesn’t mean they won’t listen to offers however, right?
Also expect to continue to hear Ramon Sessions name mentioned in trade scenarios.
The Cavs reserve point guard is posting 10 points, 3.7 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game playing behind rookie Kyrie Irving, and has scored double-digits in five of the nine games he’s appeared in. Those overall numbers could give teams around the league flashbacks to the 2008-09 season when Sessions was in Milwaukee and averaged 12.4 points, 3.4 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game for the Bucks. That 2009 offseason – before signing a four-year deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves – Sessions was in high demand.
Now that could be this case once again.
His perimeter game has been steady and while only playing five years in the league, Sessions brings a veteran suaveness to Cleveland’s backcourt offense on a team that ranks the fourth youngest in the league.
The New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers and even the Milwaukee Bucks showed interest in Sessions before the start of the season, and with two more years remaining on his contract with the Cavs, don’t be surprised if he shoots his way out of Cleveland come March.
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If you're trying to build a new team, with a new identity, you start with young assets, young core pieces. JJ Hickson was 23, to think Casspi, and an unknown draft pick, makes them better, is asinine. Sessions is 24-25?? You finally have depth at a position, productivity at a position, to actually build around, and you're looking to move him?? Who, or what would be available, behind Sessions? Gibson? Another unknown commodity? The Clippers have Paul, Billups, and castoff Williams, playing them both could add to Irvings growth, and development. He may be the teams most trade-able asset, so why trade it? When you have a player, others covet, there's value there. Sessions makes the Cav's better moving forward, He puts teams like the Lakers, and Knicks, possibly over the hump. I move Varejao, because there is no upside, I just don't believe in over-paying for hustle, no value there. I'd rather see Thompson on the floor more, more of Samuels.