It’s being reported by Legion Sports (@MySportsLegion) that the Cavaliers and Minnesota Timberwolves are discussing a trade involving Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao as well as Minnesota forward Derrick Williams and center Nikola Pekovic.
Varejao, 30, is in his ninth year with the Cavaliers and is averaging 14.1 points and 14.4 rebounds and a 22.08 PER this season in 25 games. He is under contract for up to two more seasons after this one. Andy has missed the team’s last nine games due to a bruised right knee. This is far from the first time that Varejao’s name has been mentioned in trade rumors this season.
Williams was the second pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, being selected immediately after Kyrie Irving. He is averaging 8.5 points and 4.2 rebounds with a 15.64 PER in 26 games (9 starts) and 17.4 minutes per contest. He is a 6’8″, 21-year-old power forward out of Arizona that had similar numbers in more playing time last season. He would be under team control for at least three more seasons, same as Kyrie.
Pekovic, 27, is a 6’11″, 290 lb. center from Montenegro in his third NBA season. Nikola is averaging 15.9 points, 8.3 rebounds, and a 19.35 PER in 28 games (all starts) and 31.5 minutes per night. He is a free agent at season’s end.
That would be unbelievably stupid for the T-Wolves, so it will probably happen.
Agreed. There would have to be more value going back Minny's way.
Would it be? Timberwolves might be worried they cannot retain Pekovic, Love and Rubio in the long term, so Varejao is a multi-year guy who can get them to the playoffs when healthy - which seems to be a key word with the Timberwolves these days. As far as Williams is concerned, it would be a terrible landing place for him. Kyrie remains their first option, plus they've brought in Waiters who has a shoot-first mentality. If Williams gets traded, I hope it is to somewhere he'll be given the opportunity to tap his potential as a scorer, instead of being relegated to a role player.
Pek is gonna be a FA and he'll command something like 11-12 mill this off-season despite being a liability on defense. A better defensive presence should be playing alongside K-Love, which Varejao is. AV also fits like a glove offensively in Adelman's system because of his intelligence, passing ability and ability to play the high post. AV's also on one of the best bargain contracts in the league for a C, making 9 mill a yr as a 2 way, double-double guy with a team option for 14-15. By then Rubio will be up for an extension. The only thing that would concern me from MIN's perspective is AV's health.
Derrick Williams is dead weight. Adelman doesn't like him, he has no fit on the team and they couldn't give him away. Now they don't have to worry about doing so. He's not much to lose.
In a center battle over a 7 game series I would prefer Pekovic over Varejo. I wouldn't mind paying Pekovic.
I'm not sure I'm ready to admit that Derrick Williams is the next Beasley. Calling him "dead weight" is premature imo.
It's not just about Pek vs Varejao though. It's Pek/AV vs the opposing C. It's Pek/AV with K-Love. It's financial flexibility, the ability to play more uptempo and not be locked into halfcourt ball waiting for Pek to change ends.
You might not be ready to call DW the next Beas, but it seems as if the T'Wolves are. They already tried to trade him this past offseason and nobody would bite. He got an opportunity to start and play while KLove was out and he sucked. Adelman looks reluctant to play him because he really has no identity as a player and he just doesn't fit what they try to do. Dante Cunningham is a better basketball player than DW.
Crazy but true.
There was a time when a young, big, talented, bruising center, who hit free throws and had a solid work ethic was worth his weight in gold in the NBA...
Pekovic may never be a shot blocker but his man to man D is quite respectable. Chandler doesn't block too many shots for his size and athleticism, but he was the defensive player of the year last season. I'm not comparing the 2, but stats don't always tell the whole story. Pekovic definitly isn't a liability 1 on 1, but his team defense could use some polish. Its only his 3rd year though and roster turnover aswell as injuries don't help build defensive team chemistry. However, the potential for excellence is there. Loves defense on the other hand is not nearly as scrutinized. Perhaps his rebounding numbers are what gives him a pass?
OKC felt the need to get Perkins after getting bullied down low in the playoffs. Centers like Pekovic are extremely underrated, untill you actually need one. Then you scour the earth to find one who can run and chew gum at the same time and then offer him 10 mil per. In addition, I don't recall Perkins inability to get out in transition hurting OKC's uptempo offense the last 2 years. His free throw shooting on the other hand... Pekovic isn't the quickest guy around but I feel he moves up and down the floor at a better clip than Perkins. Varejao is really a PF playing small ball center. It will be tough to win a 7 game series with Love and Varejao as your frontline when they run into a big front court like Memphis or the Clippers have. Neither player is a defensive stallwart.
I don't care if Love and Pekovic aren't a match made in heaven (although with Love filling the "stretch 4" minus the midrange role on offense you would think otherwise). If your suggesting Love's best front court partner would be an uber athletic presence in the paint, then I agree. I just don't feel Varejao is that guy. Chandler would be perfect though.
I'm not sure where the financial flexibility comes into play since Minny will still have to pay Varejao anyways?
Williams value to the Wolves is obviously low at the moment, but one mans trash is another mans treasure. Why "give" him away? I agree that Williams hasn't found himself yet, but there's still time.
Agreed on Cunningham. He has been terrific since coming over from the Griz... I read once that 90% of a players career is based on opportunity. To be given the chance to be succesful. Sometimes it comes down to team make up, system or coaching, but you need some luck on your side. Its why FA's always talk about "opportunity" when looking to sign with a new team. Look no further then Lin last season. A perfect storm of injuries, system and coaching made that story possible.
I'm not saying that Pek isn't valuable, but when committing big money to a player long-term, fit matters.
I don't care for raw defensive stats anyways. Blocks don't tell half the story. Fact is that Pek is ground bound, is slow laterally and is slow changing ends. His post defense is actually pretty good, but he's limited as a help defender. It's not a matter of polish. It's a matter of mobility and agility.
Love's defense IS scrutinized and that's why a better, more versatile defender is needed at the 5.
If you're gonna make the case for Pek, using Perkins isn't a good comparison. That guy is a liability and isn't even needed on the floor when the Thunder aren't matched up with a big back-to-the-basket threat.
I didn't say that Love needed to be paired up with an uber athletic presence, but I do think he needs to be paired up with a more athletic, more mobile and agile player. That is what Varejao is. He's also a good defender as well at either frontcourt position.
The financial flexibility comes from AV's shorter cheaper contract compared to a market value contract (~11-12 mill) for the next 4 yrs or so. AV's only guaranteed next yr at ~9mill and his final yr is a team option. Which would make him an asset next yr as an expiring, right in time for when Rubio's up for an extension.
Williams has no place on the team. He's a back up, essentially making the MLE, yet they already have a back up who is much cheaper...and better. They've already tested the market for him, even trying to flip him for a 1st and found no takers.
His value around the league is not high at all, even for a recent #2 pick. I think a team taking him on would be doing the T'Wolves a favor.
I couldn't agree more with your first sentence. The challenging part is building around Love. Although Love is all NBA in various areas of his game he is somewhat lacking in others. Love at the PF spot matching up against Griffin or Randolph in a 7 game series is not going to go so well for the Wolves. I think filling the PF spot on any team is much easier then getting a quality center. In addition, since we're planning for the longterm, do you think Love is going to stay past his contract? Love can opt out after the 3rd year. Do you think Kahn will want to pay him again or worse yet... give him a raise on his max contract? The Wolves might be better served doing as Utah did with Deron and get infront of the situation... or risk losing him for nothing.
When conducting a trade of Pekovic (should it come to that), I feel a team like the Rockets (this past offseason) who had been searching for a starting C for quite sometime would have offer'd a more intriguing package for a player like Pekovic.
This is the best season Varejao has ever had and it would be buying high for the Wolves imo. He's putting up 14 and 14 thus far. I realize he's a double double guy but so was Kris Humphries the last 2 seasons with the Nets. That doesn't mean I'd want Humphries as my playoff PF... and certainly not at the 12mil per he just resigned for in the off season.
I never liked Perkins game either but I was just trying to explain the value of having a big C...even if he is slow and lumbering. You will need one on your team during your march through the playoffs... and Pekovic isn't offensively challenged.
As for WIlliams, do you believe he will never be starting material? If not, then I understand your point of view...but with more seasoning I still think he has a shot. Love didn't play too much his first 2 year either...He played a bit more then Williams but bascially recieved backup minutes his first 2 years.
I don't know if Love will stay past the duration of his contract, but 3-4 yrs out should be considered long term.
Teams shouldn't plan to preempt a possible departure 3+ yrs ahead of time.
Rockets don't need a C anymore. So that's a moot point.
This has been AV's best yr to date, but he's basically been a double double guy his entire career if given starters minutes. The difference b/t AV and a guy like Hump is that AV is not only productive, but he's also a high IQ/ high intangibles guy. He's like another Noah. Great passer (one of the best passing bigs in the game), he's perpetual motion on offense, really good in the PnR and he's a great communicator on both ends of the floor.
I don't think every team needs a Perkins type big body. There aren't enough legit back-to-the-basket players in the league, even among the elite teams to need one.
I personally don't think that Williams is starting material. If he eventually becomes one, I think he'd be of the Al Harrington variety, which in that case the team would be looking for an upgrade anyways. I just don't see it in him. I thought he did his self a huge disservice by trying to become a SF and now he's working backwards trying to find an identity as a player.
I agree... 3+ years is too long but Love is currently in the first year of his 4 year extension with the 4th being a player option he's unlikely to pickup (unless injured). So its really a 3 year contract and after this season there's only 2 left or 1 1/2 if your looking to move him before the trade deadline in that third year. Its going to come up pretty quick. You wouldn't need to move him this season but if your building for the future I don't feel its to early to start planning for this type of call... or atleast continue to wait it out. Brandon Roy will probably come off the cap due to injury so that should free up an extra 5 mil this offseason. If that happens the Wolves go from having 10 mil in cap space to 15 which is more then enough to retain Pekovic and then make the call on trading either Pekovic or Love later depending on how you want to build. Hibbert signed a max contract... talk about slow footed. If you can get Pekovic to resign for 10-12, thats a good deal.
If Varejao was really as good as all that, then why on earth would Cle trade him with such an affordable contract and another 2 1/2 years left on it? (last year team option) Inspite of rebuilding, a youth movement or whatever you want to call it, why get rid of Varejao if he's such an important piece? I really think this is Cle selling high if they pull the trigger.
Sorry Siggy, I guess will have to agree to disagree. This is very rare though. I agree with 95% of the posts you write. Your very informed and usually have good source material... but were seeing things a bit different on this one.
Straight up it would work, but if they put in williams they would need to get at least something else in return.like the heats first round pick this year and maybe jon leuer or tyler zeller and varejao for williams and pekovic. then it would make some sense for the timberwolves.
Derrick Williams just needs to start hitting layups, he can get to the rim 1v1 vs anyone.. And he has put up quality minutes lately, I'm not ready to give up on him yet..
AV does seem like a better fit with Love than Pek. Pek has been great, but trading for AV is obviously an acknowledgment of that. Considering the injuries to the Wolves, I would be concerned about doing any two for one trades. They need the bodies. But AK47 is much better than Williams and so is Cunningham apparently. Love eventually needs to be a guy that you play 40 minutes a night. So there are no minutes for Williams. Rubio needs someone to throw alley oops to, but AV would help there, certainly much more than Pek.
Cleveland gets to get younger, so I suspect that is what they want out of this trade. AV is 30 and while playing very good much be considered at his peak right now. Cleveland needs to be preparing a team to compete for a playoff spot two years from now, no sooner. AV won't be there by then.
Perhaps Casspi is involved in this trade? I say this considering there is a article out on Yahoo sports saying he's asking to be traded. Another link below.
I just want to point out that Derrick Williams is 21y/o and is averaging 18p 9r. per 36 mins.
This would be a nice deal for the Cavs, the Wolves get somewhat screwed.
Per 36 minutes = irrelavent. Theres a reason he is not playing 36 minutes a game, no one believes he would sustain those numbers.
I know it has def come time for the Cavs to trade Andy who is playing out of his mind right now but is doing nothing beneficial for the Cavs per say except hinder the growth of their young front court players.
Tristan Thompson has came on really strong in the Wake of Andy's injury, this is significant because he started the season looking like he didn't even belong on an NBA roster.
Andy is 6'11 260lbs so he's far from an undersized Center and would be a great fix next to Love on defense. The Wolves need a big who can defend the pick and roll out West and that's exactly what Andy brings to the table. Pairing him with Love would create a formidable rebounding front court that can get out and run with Rubio.
If the Wolves were to make this trade I think it would be a case of identifying the player they need for their system to work and buying high. I do think Pek and D Will is a bit much but at the same time I believe that Andy would bring more to this team then both of them staying would.
If I had to pick the perfect center in my eyes to pair Love with it would be Marcin Gortat.
I'm also excited about the possibility of D Will or Pek going to Cleveland. D Will doesn't fit at all in Minny and everybody knew this when they drafted him. He can still atleast be a very good scoring forward on another team.
Pek would be very interesting to watch in the Eastern Conference.