It’s been more than two years since Anderson Varejao last donned an NBA uniform as a seldom-used reserve on the Golden State Warriors. However, the 36-year-old big man appears to be interested in a potential return to the Cleveland Cavaliers — the team he played for during the first decade-plus of his NBA career — at some point in the near future.
Speaking to Joe Vardon of The Athletic, the 36-year-old Varejao related that his focus at the moment is on representing Brazil in the ongoing FIBA World Cup in China. However, as quoted by Cavaliers Nation, the former Cavs forward/center said that it “wouldn’t be bad to come back to Cleveland” and wrap up his NBA career for the team where he established himself as an aggressive rebounder and defender.
As shown on his Basketball-Reference player page, Varejao posted career averages of 7.3 points and 7.2 rebounds over 627 NBA games in a 13-season career. While he excelled in an injury-shortened 2012-13 stint for the Cavaliers, averaging an impressive 14.1 points and 14.4 rebounds and adding 3.4 assists and 1.5 steals per outing in 25 games, the 6-foot-10-inch Brazilian was a bit player on the Warriors during his last one-and-a-half season in the league. He was cut by Golden State in February 2017 after averaging just 1.3 points and 1.9 rebounds in 14 games, just months before the Warriors won that year’s NBA championship against the Cavs.
Although it may be interesting to see what would happen if Varejao allows his NBA career to come full-circle with a return to Cleveland, Vardon cautioned that the team has “not shown interest” in the veteran big man, who was popular with Cavs fans for his wild hairdo and high-energy play.
“Nor is Varejao necessarily looking for a training camp invite from an NBA team; he’s thinking more along the lines of being added to a roster afterward, as an end-of-bench guy who can mentor younger players,” Vardon added, per quotes published by Cavaliers Nation.
As Brazil is scheduled to face Team USA during Monday’s FIBA World Cup matchups, Varejao’s performance in that game could determine whether the Cavaliers — or any other NBA team, for that matter — would show interest in signing him, even as a veteran mentor.
Anderson Varejao isn’t the only former NBA player who has been reported in recent months to be considering a return to the league. As noted in July by The Inquisitr, former Warriors guard Monta Ellis and ex-Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks forward/center Amar’e Stoudemire were supposedly scheduled to work out for several NBA teams in Las Vegas, with both players hoping to end up on “contending” teams. Neither of these players, however, has signed with an NBA team since the start of the 2019 offseason.