The Cleveland Cavaliers signed free agent center Anderson Varejao to a 10-day contract Tuesday, bringing back a player who was extremely popular with their fans during his 591-game stint with the team from 2004-20016.
“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,” Cavs general manager Koby Altman said in a statement on the team’s website. “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.”
The 38-year-old native of Brazil was a first-round pick (30th overall) of the Orlando Magic in 2004, and one month after the draft he was traded to Cleveland.
In his 12 seasons with the Cavs he averaged 7.6 points and 7.5 rebounds, but he was known as much for his hustle and his wild, curly hair as his production.
Cleveland traded him to the Portland Trail Blazers during the 2015-16 season. After he was waived by Portland, he signed on with Golden State and played 36 games over two seasons with the Warriors.
Starting in 2017, he played for Flamengo in Brazil’s pro league for two seasons but has been out of basketball since.
Cleveland was awarded a hardship exception from the NBA to sign Varejao because it has seven players out injured.