Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Anderson Varejao

So somebody offered Anderson Varejao a contract. We don't know who, though smart people are saying Memphis. But it could be someone else, Memphis GM Chris Wallace has reportedly visited Argentina, but that could be to talk to Andres Nocioni rather than Andy (and it could involve a sign-and-trade sending Pau Gasol to Chicago).

Brian Windhorst says that if the Memphis (or whoever) offer is somewhere around $7-8 million a season, the Cavs will match (as Varejao, like Nocioni, is a restricted free agent). But, he says, if that deal is in the $10 million range, the Cavs will most likely pass. This seems like pretty sound reasoning to me.

$10 million a year for a part time role player is pretty ridiculous. I love Varejao and what he brings to the table, but he is not worth $10 million a year. Hell, I'm not even sure he's worth $7-8 million.

First of all, if the Cavs match the offer for Varejao at $7 million a year (which is likely the lowest we'd be looking at) they'd basically be forced to trade away Drew Gooden. Gooden is scheduled to make $6.4 million next season and $7.1 the year after, I can't see a scenario where he'd be cool with his backup being paid more than him. Trading Gooden isn't necessarily a bad thing; he has a team friendly deal and he could bring in something of value (like a Shawn Marion? The Suns want to cut payroll and they really wanted Drew Gooden last summer). So if you think the Cavs have to resign Varejao because they need to keep their front court intact, you're wrong. If the Cavs keep Varejao and he's paid more than $7 million per year, Drew Gooden won't be around much longer.

Second of all, I know we all love Varejao's feistiness and hustle, but I'm not sure you throw a lot of money at that type of player. His offense is extremely raw and he often makes bonehead plays at the offensive end (like the end of Game 3). He's not a particularly great defender either; sure, he draws a lot of charges and offensive fouls, but he's not a shot blocker or physical presence. He's scrappy and annoying (don't get me wrong, I love that, but I don't this scrappy and annoying should net you $8-10 million per).

Plus, if the NBA changes their flopping rules, Varejao's biggest strength is negated and the Cavs are stuck paying at least $7 million to a big man with no offense and no defense. And with his offense, I know he's young and he's got time to improve his O, but does anyone think that Varejao is ever going to be as polished offensively as Drew Gooden is right now? How long do we wait for that? The Cavs offense stinks as it is, they definitely don't need this 35 minutes a night (that commentary is sweet by the way).

I guess it's obvious I'd let Varejao walk. Maybe it's the bad taste leftover from Game 3, I dunno. But I just don't see this guy being worth that much money. I'm not sure how he'd hold up playing starters minutes over 82 games (he takes a lot of contact and his wild style could lead to injury). The Cavs have a team full of overpaid defensive minded guys who can't shoot (Eric Snow, Larry Hughes, Ira Newble) and one guy who's overpaid, isn't defensive minded and can't shoot (hi Donyell Marshall!), I'm not sure paying Anderson Varejao big bucks is the way to go.


Erik said...

I don't think you can just let Andy walk. You have to get something for him in a sign-and-trade.

I get nervous when Andy has the ball in his hands, but I'd be worlds more nervous if the Cavs headed into next season with Z and Drew as their two starting bigs, and Marshall and a big fat "?" after that coming off the bench.

Andy isn't worth $8 million per. But Darko Milicic (8 PPG, 5.5 RPG) is reportedly looking for $10 million per, which is further proof that NBA teams are delusional when it comes to big men.

My main concern is that Danny Ferry is going to say "OK, we stuck to our guns, didn't overpay for Andy and let him walk. Now we have a gaping hole in our frontcourt and we still need to address the clangfest going on in our backcourt."

Unfortunately, right now, making a stand based on the principle of paying Andy what he's worth and nothing more could be a costly stand to take. The Cavs simply aren't dealing from a position of strength.

Ben said...

See, maybe I'm just hating, but I think what Andy brings is more easily replaceable than what Gooden and/or Z bring.

Andy hustles and rebounds, takes charges/flops (which may or may not be toned down) and runs full tilt towards the hoop on pick and rolls with LBJ.

Am I missing something? He's not a shot blocker (take away the flops and he's an average defender at best), he doesn't have a jump shot (though he thinks he does) and he doesn't have a quality low post game. Granted, some of these can be learned but some can't.

In all seriousness, I wouldn't mind Darko for around the same price. He's got more upside, he's a better shot blocker and he's got a halfway decent jumper. Is either player worth $8-10 million? No.

Plus, the Cavs do have Drew Gooden and he would benefit from a uptick in minutes. He's got a polished low post game, a sweet 15 foot jumper (he's money from the baseline) and he's cheap.

I'm all for a sign-and-trade (with Varejao or Pavs for that matter) but I don't want to see the Cavs overpay and throw more money at marginal talent.

graham said...

Good Lord, that YouTube clip is hilarious.

I keep wavering on AV. It's so tough to foresee how he will turn out. He's not worth that money unless he improves offensively, but who knows if that will happen. In the end, I wouldn't let him walk, and instead make sure you do a S&T to get something for him, like Erik said.

Seems like the Grizz are going harder after Nocioni though, and the Darko release should drive down AV's price.

I just wish their was some way to get rid of Hughes. He's killing us, and so is DJ and Marshall. Ferry REALLY screwed that up.

Erik said...

People want to jump all over the "Ferry is killing the Cavs with his '05 signings" bandwagon, driven by Bill Simmons. But I think it's a slander job.

What's is really killing the Cavs is their ghastly draft history since 2000. It's a testament to LeBron James that he has been able to almost singlehandedly couterract the terror of Jim Paxson, all the Mihms and Diops and Wagners and Jacksons that Paxson wasted draft picks on.

When Ferry took over the Cavs roster in 2005, he had $28 million in cap space, nothing else. No draft picks and few workable pieces besides LeBron.

Fans can argue until they're breathless about whether Ferry bid against himself or made hip-shot decisions in signing Hughes, Marshall, et al, but the bottom line is the Cavs were a non-playoff team at the time those signings were made. LeBron WAS NOT a cut-rate free agent draw. He isn't very much of one even now, apparently.

How could Ferry have repaired the Cavs roster in a short period of time without overpaying for free agents? He had one summer to show LeBron he was willing to make the moves to improve the team.

Given how awful the Cavs history of roster management was between 2000 and '05, it's incredible that we're talking about an Eastern Conference title right now.

I wish people would get off of Ferry. He had next to nothing to work with outside of LeBron when he took this job, and somehow has put a late May-early June type of team on the floor in two years' time.

If that's not damage control, I don't know what is.

graham said...

I'm not saying Ferry wasn't in a tough spot and he certainly had to spend the money, but that doesn't change the fact that Hughes, DJ, and Marshall haven't worked out. He wasn't forced to take those three guys. Hughes was seen by many as the 4th best SG that summer, but as the GM can't always be tempted by what player seems the best. Hughes didn't have a jumper then, just as he doesn't have one now, and he has been injury prone since he was a Frosh at St. Louis. Also, he could've gone other directions than DJ and Marshall.

Now, many including myself thought those were good signings, but Ferry is given the power and paid big time bucks to make the correct decisions, no matter what the media or fans say.

I'm not saying Ferry is a terrible GM, and I don't consider anything Simmons writes as legitimate. But in hindsight, those were bad signings.

Also, Paxson did a miserable job here, but the Cavs have Gooden, AV, and Sasha because of him, arguably more key to this team than Hughes, Donyell, and DJ. Clearly Paxson also butchered the roster, but of all Ferry's moves, his best is probably the drafting of Daniel Gibson.

I'd take Ferry over Paxson every day of the week, but Danny Ferry has not proven himself as a GM....yet.

Erik said...

What Ferry's moves in '05 illustrate is that free agency is a bad way to build a roster in any sport.

The best teams are generally the teams that have the best drafts. With this year's draft passing, the Cavs have finally paid their debts to the Wesley Person and Jiri Welsch trades.

It's time for Ferry to start keeping his picks and using them every year, and maybe acquire a pick through a trade once in a while.

The only time a team should ever trade picks away is when they have multiple picks to play with.

If Ferry can start amassing draft picks, then I'll know he has the right idea.