Cavs And Varejao Close to 3 Year Extension: What It Means For Tristan Thompson

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On a day that Cavs fans have been waiting for, it is being reported that the Cavs are very close to signing their starting center Anderson Varejao to a three year, $30 million dollar deal. Varejao has been with the Cavs for his entire career, which began when the team acquired his rights in 2004. Varejao is a valuable player, and is one of Lebron James’ favorite teammates. There are a number of outcomes that can be deduced from this move.

The Cleveland Cavaliers’ run of getting everything they want may be coming to an end. The last day that Tristan Thompson can sign an extension with the team is on Friday and reports indicate that the two sides are still far from reaching an agreement. Tristan Thompson is asking for the absurdly unfounded amount of $12 million dollars a year, which puts the Cavs in a tough spot. When looking to next summer, the Cavs already have their hands full with the potential re-signing of two max players at the new max level that will surely be driven up by the NBA’s new TV deals. Once they have managed that exhaustive payout they will then have to tend to the unrestricted free agent Anderson Varejao and the restricted free agent Tristan Thompson.

It is true that Thompson’s current request is inflated. However, the Cavs run the very possible risk that after a season with Lebron James and company, Tristan could very likely post inflated numbers that would result in other teams justifying massive offer sheets to Thompson. This could be very problematic for the Cavs if they have thoughts of retaining him. A more likely outcome would involve the Cavs using that money towards re-signing a much more affordable Varejao and using the rest in combinations with Brendon Haywood’s valuable trade bait contract to bring in another star.

Marc Stein of ESPN has reported today that Cavs are close to agreeing to terms with Varejao. This would lead me to believe that with the Thompson’s extension deadline tomorrow the Cavs are good with waiting until after the season to address his future with the team.

The truth is that this is the correct move. The likes of a player like Thompson, tall and athletic with limited offensive skills, can be found much easier than the “all about the team,” hustle, defense and offensive facilitator that Varajeo has turned into. The risk at this point though is Varejao’s health issues. This contract extension only works out if Varejao can stay on the floor. He appeared in 65 games last season and is only 32 years old.

By: Brad Ward

Follow @CST_BradWard On Twitter

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