Free Agent Targets: Anderson Varejao

Posted on: June 5th, 2009 by Sebastian Pruiti Comments

Previous Free Agent Targets:

Brandon Bass

Way back when Rod Thorn gave his state of the team address, he called this upcoming free agent class average at best.  While he was unable to talk about any specific player (due to NBA rules), you just got the feeling that the Nets wouldn’t be too active in free agency.  With that being said, there are a couple guys I want the Nets to take a look at.  Today we will look at Anderson Varejao.  Now Varejao isn't officially a free agent yet, but he has let anyone who will listen to him know that he plans on opting out.

Anderson Varejao

(For some reason, this picture just makes me laugh - I think it is because it reminds me of this).  Anderson Varejao is the type of player that you hate when he plays against you, but when he is on your team, you love him.  Anderson Varejao gets a bad rap from everyone except the Cleveland media.   I don't know how valid these complaints are, Anderson Varejao's job is to be a disrupter, and he does that job very well.  Varejao (along with his bouncing hair) is all over the court, grabbing rebounds, swiping at basketballs, and taking charges (or flopping).  He frustrates everyone he plays against.

For an example of his ability to frustrate player, just look at some of the reactions he got from Dwight Howard (picked up like 3 or 4 Ts during the conference finals.  Most were with Varejao somehow involved) and Zaza Pachulia (in the first round).

Pros For Signing Anderson Varejao

Despite Varejao's poor performance in the conference finals (the main problem was that Anderson didn't really have a match-up during the series.  He was forced covering Rashard Lewis for most of the series), Anderson Varejao would be a huge asset for the New Jersey Nets.  He would give the Nets an energy and a toughness that they don't really have in their backcourt currently.  Lets look at his numbers compared to our PFs:

varejao_anderson_yi-copy

Much like Brandon Bass, Anderson Varejao does things on the court that the two PFs on our roster aren't able to.  He likes to mix it up inside, and he winds up with a lot of rebounds.  Varejao isn't a shooter (he doesn't shoot too frequently, but when he does he misses a lot), but that wouldn't be his job on the Nets roster.  Here is a look at his shot chart
varejaoshots
Many teams would hesitate to sign Anderson Varejao because of his lack of shooting ability and because of the lack of his minutes played (Despite being a starter, Varejao's minutes are low due the amount of fouls that are drawn on him.  This is because of his playing style).

The Nets shouldn't be worried about this because they have two PFs on their roster that could compliment, and again like Brandon Bass, if signed, he will be splitting time with Yi and Ryan Anderson.  So foul trouble/not being able to stay on the court shouldn't be an issue.

Cons For Signing Anderson Varejao

The biggest reason for not signing Anderson Varejao is the money that it would cost.  Varejao is opting out of a contract that was set to make him a little over 6 million dollars (For a comparision, Brandon Bass made under 1 million last year and will probably be signed for something less than the MLE this year).  This means there is no question that he would be expecting more in his next contract if he does in fact opt out.  I don't think Rod Thorn (or many Nets' fans for that matter) would be willing to pay around 7 million for a guy who would basically become a platoon player playing around 25-30 minutes per game.

Another factor would be Varejao's greed.  Many stories out of Cleveland has proven that he is in fact a Greedy Gus.  Two years ago, when he was unhappy with his deal Varejao sat out the early part of the season.  Also the fact that he is opting out of his contract shows his greed.  The thing is, if he would be only getting 20 minutes a game here in New Jersey would he cause problems?  Or would he be happy with the money, not really caring about his playing time?  You don't really know, but his past greedy actions has you leaning in a direction.

Another thing that should have the Nets worried about Anderson Varejao is his flopping.  Say what you will about flopping, but Anderson is great at it.  When he successfully flops on someone, he both gets a foul called on them and gets them frustrated.  In my opinion flopping is part of the game.  However, there are many people out there who strongly disagree with me.  In fact, there are even rumors that there will be talks about implementing rules that would punish floppers (rumors include everything from calling a foul on the flopper to calling a T on the flopper).  If this does in fact happen a big part of Varejao's game will be taken away, and he would definitly not be worth the money he is trying to get.

The Final Word

Would I be mad if the Nets shelled out 7 to 8 million dollars to sign Anderson Varejao?  Not really, because he would be a valuble asset to the team.  He would give them both rebounding and toughness, and in my opinion he would be great playing alongside with Brook Lopez.  With this being said, I do think that there are cheaper options though.  Brandon Bass does much of the same stuff that Varejao does but at a much lower price-tag.  Like I said, the signing of Anderson Varejao would make me happy.

The Board

I am going to be doing a lot of these FATs in the future and as I profile a Free Agent, he will be added to the Board.  The Board is how I rank the Free Agents that I would want to see the Nets sign.

1.  Brandon Bass

2. Anderson Varejao*

---

* - Player Option this upcoming year

** - Restricted Free Agent