Varejao a Bobcat?

The Charlotte Bobcats appear poised to sign big man Anderson Varejao to an offer sheet, although that’s a long way from actually having Varejao on their roster.

A Brazilian publication, UOL Sporte, quoted Varejao as saying he’s signing a three-year offer sheet with the Bobcats.

Varejao is a restricted free agent with the Cleveland Cavaliers. That means the Cavs can match any offer another team makes for him, and most likely they would.

The Bobcats figure to be offering the mid-level exception, which represents a first-year salary of $5.36 million this season. A player signing for the mid-level must sign for a minimum of three years, but the player can get an opt-out, making him an unrestricted free agent after two seasons.

If the Cavs match, that precludes the Bobcats and Cavs from doing a sign-and-trade that would exchange Varejao for Charlotte players. Cleveland general manager Danny Ferry has made it clear he intends to match offers for Varejao and a 3-year, mid-level deal actually represents less than the best offer the Cavaliers have made (at least 3 seasons with a total value in excess of $20 million, with no opt-out for the player).

So what’s all this about?

An educated guess: Varejao wants to become an unrestricted free agent as soon as possible. The Cavaliers wanted to lock him up for longer than two years at an affordable price. The two sides can’t come to a compromise.

So Varejao’s agent, Dan Fegan, forced the issue by contacting the Bobcats. Charlotte general manager Rod Higgins has a history with Fegan. His former team, the Golden State Warriors, signed Fegan clients Troy Murphy and Jason Richardson to big contracts. Then the Bobcats acquired Richardson.

And this summer, the Bobcats successfully re-signed another Fegan client, Matt Carroll.

Varejao would certainly address the Bobcats’ immediate need for help inside. He’s an energy guy and a rugged rebounder.

But the chances of the Bobcats actually acquiring Varejao appear remote. At best, this likely becomes a favor for an agent and an effort to show the fan base that the front office is trying to do something about the lack of depth among big men.

Source: Charlotte Observer