Reading the Tea Leaves.

January 7th, 2013 by Nate Smith

Claire Danes aka Carrie Mathison w "Homeland" (Fot. Kent Smith/Copyright: Showtime)

So the hot rumor on Cleveland sports talk radio this morning is that the Cavs are trading Anderson Varejao within the next 24-48 hours.  According the Really Big Show, the rationale is that Minnesota has a newly renewed sense of urgency given that Kevin Love is out 5-6 weeks with his latest hand fracture (wish I could tell you what time to look on the podcast, but it was brief).  Normally, I’d just read this as chatter, but the Carrie Mathison in me thinks there might be more to this, for the following reasons.

  • The Kevin Love injury.
  • Tristan Thompson has blossomed during Andy’s most recent absence, thus making the prospect of trading Andy more palatable..
  • Samardo Samuels was waived yesterday.  His contract was guaranteed after January 10th.  Could the Cavs be clearing a roster spot?
  • Anderson Varejao has not played for 7 games, a very long time to sit for a knee bruise.  Could the Cavs be shelving him so that he does not get hurt before they can trade him?
  • Daniel Gibson, in similar fashion to Samardo Samuels, has a contract that becomes fully guaranteed January 10th.  He is scheduled to make $4.79 million this year, of which $2.49 million is guaranteed.  This means that any team that trades for him can then waive him and save $2.3 million of their 2012-2013 salary cap, as long as they do it before the 10th.  Plus, the Cavs have already paid a good portion of the guaranteed contract.  Additionally, he has not played since his concussion.  According to Mary Schmitt Boyer, he’s out tonight: “Just got out of shootaround at the United Center. Daniel Gibson is here but will not playing.”
  • Luke Walton is scheduled as out tonight in order to take care of a “personal matter.”  Could this be to take care of things before he gets shipped, especially because the Cavs are about to start a road trip?  Might he be looking for an apartment in Minneapolis?
  • According to Yahoo.com, Omri Casspi has requested a trade from the Cavs.  According to the Plain Dealer, Casspi has no comment on the matter.

Added all up, it’s either a lot of chatter, or a perfect storm of trade winds.  Andy may sit or play tonight.  The Cavs might want to protect him, or show a prospective team that he’s healthy…  We’ll know whether this was all rumor or prescience in 3 days.  Enjoy the trade machine, my friends.