According to Sam Amico, who can usually be trusted on all things Cleveland Cavaliers-related, the Celtics have expressed strong interest in Anderson Varejao. From Amico’s Sulia:
The Celtics, ranked 29th in rebounding, do have a strong interest in Cavs’ Anderson Varejao, but the question is what could Celtics offer that the Cavs would want? (And don’t say Jared Sullinger. Cavs didn’t have an interest in him on draft night and likely still don’t.)
That’s the trouble with trading Varejao. Teams with a strong interest don’t really have the assets to offer — or more specifically, the assets the Cavs are seeking. [...]
If the Cavs are going to trade Varejao, they want good young talent and a first-round pick. Not many contenders, outside of the Thunder, own those type of assets.
Other things the Celtics are interested in:
- LeBron James
- The Fountain of Youth
- Wolverine’s healing ability
- Suspensions for the Knicks/Heat/Lakers/Nets/Hawks
- The #1 draft pick in 2013.
- Also in 2014.
Anderson Varejao would be a wonderful, wonderful fit for this team. He would help a team that is currently 28th (sorry Amico) in rebounding improve almost immediately. Given some time, Varejao would probably also allow Garnett’s trips to the bench to remain productive, which would be devastating for Celtics’ opponents.
But the fact remains that the Cavs are looking to TRADE Varejao, and outside of Avery Bradley (who is probably better than Dion Waiters, but would be redundant next to him), the Celtics just don’t have the bait to make Cleveland bite on a deal (you may note that Amico specifically mentioned Cleveland’s disinterest in Sully).
There’s also the problem of making salaries fit. The Celtics, who are already very strapped for space, would be adding Varejao’s $8,368,182 salary this season. There are ways to make this work—Bradley, Courtney Lee and Fab Melo for Varejao, for example—but this scenario would leave Boston’s shooting guard situation to Leandro Barbosa and Jason Terry exclusively which, frankly, is a frightening concept. It’s also difficult to imagine that Cleveland would be willing to part with their suddenly star center for one real prospect (Bradley), an underachieving (though improving) role player (Lee), and a major bust candidate (Melo).
This is a bummer, since Varejao would be a fantastic pickup for the Celtics. But realistically, unless Danny Ainge has naked pictures of Dan Gilbert that he’s threatening to spread virally across the internet, Varejao is unlikely to put on a Boston uniform any time soon.
Follow Tom on Twitter: @Tom_NBA.