The Cleveland Cavaliers’ decision to sign 38-year-old Anderson Varejao was reportedly the brainchild of owner Dan Gilbert, who had been pushing the idea for quite some time.
Jason Lloyd of The Athletic looked at the Cavaliers’ decision to sign Varejao, a move pushed by Gilbert that’s seen as favoring sentimentality over bolstering the level of talent on the team’s roster.
“This was all Gilbert’s idea, I was told this week, something he had been pushing for a while,” Lloyd wrote. “No NBA general manager on the planet would think it’s a great idea to give a roster spot to a retired center who hasn’t played in the NBA in four years and who hasn’t played competitive basketball in two years.”
Gilbert has largely been absent from the team’s affairs for the past two years as he continues to recover from a major stroke suffered in May 2019.
Yet, it’s clear that he has a soft spot for Varejao, who played the bulk of his career in a Cavs uniform.
Varejao’s signing is essentially a harmless move for the Cavaliers, who are once again not in the playoff picture. The veteran gets to end his career where he began it and receive some final cheers from fans who have appreciated his all-out effort throughout the years.
While Gilbert’s momentary bit of nostalgia will help take the sting out of another losing season, many of the team’s fans simply want a return to the postseason.
Gibert’s role in the future with the Cavs is also uncertain, due to his health concerns and news that his son is being groomed to take over the running of the team.
Those issues may help determine what path the Cavs take in the years ahead.