CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed center Anderson Varejão to a 10-day contract. The team was granted a hardship exception by the NBA to acquire him, Cavs General Manager Koby Altman said Tuesday.
Varejão's return to Cleveland is a familiar one as he spent his first 12 NBA seasons with the team, appearing in 591 regular-season games, starting in 208 of them.
The center from Brazil still ranks among the franchise’s all-time leaders in offensive and defensive rebounds. He earned the NBA All-Defensive Second Team honors in 2009-10.
“For more than a decade, I was blessed to wear the Wine and Gold and play for the organization’s incredible fans, who inspired me to give everything I had during each and every play on a nightly basis,” said Varejгo in a news release. “I am so excited to return to Cleveland and be back in a Cavaliers jersey, continuing to build memories and representing the city and franchise that I love so much. I am so very grateful to Dan Gilbert and Koby Altman for this opportunity and am extremely thankful for the love and support from my wife, Stacy, and daughter, Serenee. I can’t wait to join my teammates and be reunited with the fans, both on and off the court.”
Varejão was also a member of Cleveland’s back-to-back 60-win teams and six playoff teams.
"Andy embodies all that the city of Cleveland stands for and beyond, and we couldn’t be more excited to bring his experience, leadership and character back into this locker room,” said Altman in a news release. “His infectious work ethic and commitment to our community have earned him his rightful place in the fabric of this organization and all of Northeast Ohio, and have established a genuine admiration that resonates strongly throughout our passionate fan base. There are not many athletes who can impact the game of basketball the way Andy has over his career, and I feel that our players will benefit greatly from their daily interaction with him. We are thrilled to welcome Andy and family back to the Cavaliers.”
Varejão was drafted in 2004 by the Orlando Magic before he was acquired by the Cavaliers in a trade on July 23, 2004. He last played in the NBA for the Golden State Warriors, appearing in 36 games during parts of the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons.
Following his time with Golden State, Varejão played for Flamengo in the NBB (New Basketball Brazil) league in 2017-18 and 2018-19 and led the team to the 2019 NBB title.
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