Varejao, Cavaliers Need to Settle Their Differences

This is a great article by Brian Windhorst about the drama between the Cavaliers and Anderson Varejao.

Varejao and his agent Dan Fegan broke their silence yesterday and spoke to ESPN about their contract negotiation with the Cavs.

Varejao was quoted as saying: “It’s gotten to the point that I don’t want to play there anymore. I’m just hoping for a sign-and-trade at this point. . . . I’m willing to go and play in Europe if that’s what it takes. I know it’s a risk and I’ll be a restricted free agent next year, but at least I’d be happy. I don’t think I’ll be happy in Cleveland knowing that I was the lowest-paid player there for three years and am still paid much less than players on the team that I outperform. Life’s too short to be unhappy.”

According to Brian, the sign and trade option that Varejao now wants has been on the table since July. But getting it done is complicated and most teams have their rosters set and their payrolls set. Also, no team is ready to pay Varejao the amount of money he is asking for.”The plain reality is that this has become like a factory strike, the management feels demands are too high and the union member feels he’s a poor little guy not being treated fairly.” Brian said in his article.

Anderson and his agent tried to bring Lebron James into the mix and how unhappy he is that the Cavs are not getting him the help he needs.

“LeBron wants Andy back.” a source told ESPN. “He wants him to get a fair deal. I think his frustration isn’t with Andy, it’s with the fact that for the past two years, he’s been waiting for more help and he hasn’t gotten it. This is just a step in the wrong direction.”

“And bringing LeBron James into it, as many have, is shallow-minded and shortsighted.” Brian said. “The Cavs are expected to put a better team around LeBron, better than the team that was swept in the NBA Finals last June and better than the one they have now. They have three years to do it and it is a challenge that will always be there.”

“No matter what happens, there will always be people who will question whether James wants to stay. No matter what free agent the Cavs are talking to, it will be portrayed as a reason for James to stay or leave. This summer’s Varejao is next summer’s Daniel Gibson, who will be a restricted free agent then. This is what it is to have a star on your team in the NBA in modern era and it isn’t changing anytime soon.

What does need to change is the attitudes. Instead of getting creative in fighting to win the public relations battle, the two sides need to get creative to resolve their differences, otherwise it will continue to be just painful.”

Sources: ESPN, Akron Beacon Journal

Anderson Varejao Doesn’t Want to Play in Cleveland Anymore

In a rare phone interview with ESPN, Anderson Varejao expressed his frustration with the Cavaliers and Danny Ferry. “I just want to be treated fairly and I don’t think Danny’s done that.” he told ESPN.

anderson-varejao.jpg“I wanted to come back,” he said. “I love the fans and I really love my teammates. But there are others there that have made it very difficult. It’s gotten to the point that I don’t want to play there anymore. I’m just hoping for a sign-and-trade at this point.”

But Ferry is not ready to make the same mistake the Cavaliers made when they signed, yes you guessed it, Danny Ferry himself.

Ferry refused to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers and decided instead to play in Europe and eventually forced the Clippers to trade him to Cleveland.

Anderson turned down the Cavs’ one-year, $1.2 million offer. He also refused Cleveland’s opening offer of five years, $20 million, and then its latest offer of five years, $32 million, with a starting salary slightly below the midlevel exception.

Ferry says the Cavs’ offer is fair.

“We believe the Cavs’ offers are very much in line with what is widely perceived throughout the industry as fair market value. We have also included bonuses that would serve as upside protection for Anderson,” Ferry said.”We are working to make decisions that are best for short- and long-term interests of the organization, yet clearly stepping up and offering him long-term security at a very fair market value.”Varejao is talking down on some of the players on the team, “I’m willing to go and play in Europe if that’s what it takes,” Varejao said. “I know it’s a risk and I’ll be a restricted free agent next year, but at least I’d be happy. I don’t think I’ll be happy in Cleveland knowing that I was almost the lowest-paid player there for three years and am still paid much less than players on the team that I outperform. Life’s too short to be unhappy.”

Varejao averaged 6.8 points and 6.7 rebounds last season.

Lebron’s Fourth Triple Double leads the Cavs Past the Pacers

“Lebron James is playing like he did in high school” Austin Carr said of Lebron play this season. He know he’s the best player in this league and he can take on anyone anytime and win a game all by himself.

James lead the Cavaliers to beat the Pacers 111-106 and recorded his fourth triple double of the season. He finished with 30 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.

The Cavaliers struggled without him and let an eight point lead vanish when in the third quarter James went to the bench to rest. With James out, the Pacers went on a 12-2 run to take a 75-73 lead at the end of the period.

“He might be the only guy I’ve seen that looks like he was engineered to play basketball,” Danny Granger, who guarded James for much of the game, said. “He’s a phenomenal player.”

James said the triple-doubles only matter if they lead to wins.

“We’re playing some good basketball, and I’m the catalyst of that. The best thing about it, we got three straight wins and that’s good. We got a little streak going.”

Drew Gooden had 23 points and 12 rebounds, and Sasha Pavlovic added 22 points and five assists for the Cavaliers.

Full game recap| Box Score

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Open Letter to Andy

Terry Pluto from the Plain Dealer gives us a different kind of Dear John letter:

Dear Andy:

Your holdout is the longest in the 37-year history of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

OK, it’s not actually a holdout. You are a restricted free agent, meaning you are not under contract or any obligation to report to the Cavs. You can sit from now until eternity.

And you, Anderson Varejao of Santa Teresa, Brazil, will still be under control of the Cavs because they’d have the right to match any offer you receive. Even if you play in Europe for the next 10 years. Even if you sit on the beach for the next 20 years. Even if you hold your breath and wish upon a star and think bad things about the team that wouldn’t mind paying you close to $20 million over the next three years.

Someone needs to remind you that you averaged 6.8 points and 6.7 rebounds last season, your best in three NBA years.In the playoffs, you averaged exactly 6.0 points and 6.0 rebounds.

The Cavs have offered you a deal that begins around 6.0.

Make that $6,000,000. . .

As in $6 million a year. . .

As in about $1 million for each rebound and point you averaged last season. . .

As in a three-year deal worth nearly $20 million. . .

As in what Drew Gooden signed last summer, when he was in your same restricted free-agent position.

Gooden was hoping for more, but suddenly, he said: “Hey, I like playing with LeBron. I like my coach. I really like the idea of having nearly $20 million coming in over the next three years.”

If your agent says that deal is not on the table, tell him to ask for it. You’ll get it.

If your agent says you are a better player than Gooden, think twice. He’s averaging 14.3 points and 10.3 rebounds this season. You are the more gifted defender, he’s the superior scorer. If you break rebounding down per 40 minutes, you both averaged about 12 last season.

The 26-year-old Gooden is only a year older than you. If you really wanted to be an unrestricted free agent, you should have signed the $1.2 million qualifying offer when NBA rules gave you a chance. Then next summer, you could sign anywhere without the Cavs matching, and maybe you would have found a team dumb enough to pay you the $10 million annually that your agent has sometimes asked for.

No doubt, your agent reminds you that you averaged 12 points and 11.3 rebounds when you started six games last season. So may your brother, who was hired by your agent.

But in 20 playoff games, you averaged those 6.0 points and 6.0 rebounds in 22 minutes. Cavs fans love you because you play with such passion. You throw your body in front of hard driving players. You are more than a flopper, you have quick feet and that’s why you led the NBA in drawing offensive fouls. Your unselfishness, your willingness to defend and rebound is perfect for a contending team such as the Cavs.

They do miss you.

But it’s harder for you to put the ball through the basket than to shove all that hair under a skullcap. You are a very good role player, but still a role player who is a 57 percent free-throw shooter and has no reliable inside moves near the hoop.

Andy, talk to Sasha Pavlovic. Ask him if he’s relieved to step out of restricted free agency and sign that $11 million deal (and it could be worth much more) for three years right before the opener. Ask yourself what you are being paid now, and where is this headed?

Think about the relief that would come from a contract such as Gooden’s and playing for a team with LeBron James — then ask yourself if what you’re doing now is worth it.

Source: Cleveland.Com

As Lebron goes so does the Cavs

Lebron James is clearly having an MVP start to the season.  He finished with a lights out performance shooting 17-26 from the field, 8 rebounds and 5 assists for a total of 45 points as the Cavaliers knocked off the lowly Timberwolves 97-86.  My concern is that the Cavaliers are looking more like the Los Angeles Lakers.  It’s all Lebron.  We are in desperate need of a major upgrade in order for us to compete night in and night out for another shot at running deep into the playoffs this season.  As the Lakers have shown, you cannot win with one player alone.  As great as Lebron is playing this year the Cavaliers are only playing 500 basketball. 

Lebron is only one man. 

For a breakdown of the box scores click HERE

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