The Cleveland Cavaliers are one of many teams that have been mentioned as a potential trade destination for Houston Rockets big man Omer Asik. Obviously unhappy playing in Houston with Dwight Howard for the 2013-14 NBA season, the Rockets have said that they will trade Asik within the next week.
As recently as Friday morning, a name that has been tossed around regarding the Cavs potentially trading for Asik is veteran big man Anderson Varejao. Varejao, who is currently coming off of the bench behind Andrew Bynum, would certainly add an interesting dynamic and bit of versatility to the Rockets if that deal were to go down. However, I’m not sure why the Cavaliers would want to deal Varejao for Asik.
Though I can understand the though process behind looking to add a younger big man in Asik and trying to add more new blood to this Cavs team, I’m not sure how much they improve from Varejao to Asik. That’s not to say anything negative about Asik, but more to say that Varejao has been a high quality big man this season and kind of a perfect fit for Cleveland’s frontcourt.
With Bynum on a minutes limit, you know he’s going to take a physical toll on opposing frontcourts in his time on the floor. When you bring in a guy like Varejao, someone who plays relentlessly on both ends of the floor and on the glass, behind Bynum, that really keeps opposing big men on their heels.
I fully realize that Asik is probably the better play for the future and the player with more upside, but if I’m in Cleveland’s front office, I’m not pulling the trigger on dealing Varejao. This is a team that has aspirations and the potential to make the postseason this year. Though it might not be conventional, I think Varejao as their big man off of the bench gives them the best chance to succeed, in the short-term at least.