The Disappointment Zone

Musings from a Cleveland sports fan

Varejao close to signing?

Posted by disappointmentzone on 6 November 2007

According to a report published very early this morning by SI basketball writer Marty Burns, Anderson Varejao is prepared to sign a one-year contract worth the mid-level exception of roughly $5 million. He had been seeking a contract worth upwards of $50 million over six years.

Were the Cavs to offer such a deal and were Varejao to sign it this would mean a number of things. First, the Cavs’ core of talented players from last season would finally be intact. Varejao was one of the most productive players on the team last season and his value to the team this season cannot but overstated. The Cavs would go over the luxury tax line with this contract, but it wouldn’t prohibitively affect the team’s financial situation. The Cavs wouldn’t be the Knicks.

Second, Varejao would be free to test the open market after the season as an unrestricted free agent. Next to a long-term deal from the Cavs right now, free agency is his best option for getting paid what he feels he should be paid. This also means that the Cavs would be shielded against any liability beyond this season, which is certainly an advantageous position for them.

Third, the Cavs would still have Bird Rights for Varejao, which means that they could exceed the salary cap to resign him should they decide that he really is worth locking up long-term. Taking one more season to gather evidence is never a bad option if it doesn’t mean necessarily forfeiting your right to a player’s future. The Bird Rights would also allow the Cavs to sign-and-trade Varejao, which is another potential benefit for the team.

There has been a lot of speculation about what the Cavs have offered Varejao, what Varejao is truly worth, and how far the Cavs should go to sign him. A $1.2 million qualifying offer is far below his value and the $50 million contract he’s seeking is probably more than the market will bear (which is not to say that within the overall scheme of things that he’s not worth that much money). Offering him the full mid-level exception looks like a smart move especially if he’s willing to sign.

Donyell Marshall is hurt. Zydrunas Ilgauskas isn’t getting younger. Dwayne Jones is still a project. And Drew Gooden is flaky. The Cavs need Varejao. Let’s hope he signs soon.

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One Response to “Varejao close to signing?”

  1. Erik said

    The Cavs would also have an opportunity to replace Varejao through the draft next summer if Varejao gets a contract offer too rich for their blood.

    I’ve long thought the one-year qualifying offer contract would be the best situation for everyone involved: Varejao can chase the big bucks as an UFA next year, the Cavs still have the ability to offer him the most money or sign-and-trade him, and if that doesn’t work, the Cavs will actually have draft picks next year with which to replace him.

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