This is probably going to make me unpopular. But I don't care.
The Cavs have to trade Anderson Varejao.
Plain and simple. I'm not going to even touch upon what's a fair trade or what he could bring back in a trade; that's for Chris Grant to decide. But after watching Varejao torch the Brooklyn Nets for 35 points and 18 boards, I made up my mind.
Trade the Wild Thing.
Varejao as an All Star, I'd love it. Would I love a playoff run? Of course. Who wouldn’t? But getting into the playoffs as the 7th or 8th seed does this team nothing. The Cavs need another lottery pick, and honestly, they probably need more than that.
They have no bench, and aside from Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters, anyone on this team should be able to be had for the right price.
I just don't see how Varejao fits in long-term.
He's 30 and has been injured the last two seasons. In the 2010-11 season, Varejao was ruled out for the year by January 6.
In last season’s lockout-shortened campaign, he played in 25 games. The Cavs went 10-15 while whispering about the playoffs during that stretch. Without Varejao in the lineup, they were 11-30.
I love what Varejao brings to the table just as much as the next guy. He has improved so much from his rookie year after arriving from Orlando. This season he is averaging a career best 15.9 points and 13.7 rebounds.
But do we want to risk keeping him and making a playoff push just to see him get hurt again and end up in a suit for 40 games?
I don’t want this team to be the Pacers or 76ers. Teams who get into the playoffs as a six or lower seed only to be smacked in the first round, draft late and do it all again the next year.
Remember the early to mid-90s Cavs teams? Let me refresh: From 1991-98, the Cavs posted a 337-247 regular season mark with six playoff appearances. The lone miss was the 1996-97 season.
They finished between 3rd and 6th in their playoff seasons and got out of the first round a grand total of two times.
I don’t want playoff seasons. I want championship seasons. And if we keep Varejao, make early round playoff exits and have middle first round picks, it just won’t be beneficial to this club in the long run.
The Oklahoma City Thunder went through it with Kevin Durant, just like the Cavs will with Irving. In Durant’s first two seasons, they won a combined 43 games.
It wasn’t until the third season when they made their playoff run. They did it through the draft with high picks and good trades. Moving Andy while his stock was highest would be one of those trades for the Cavaliers.