Houston Rockets: Anderson Varejao Now A Target In Omer Asik Trade

By Michael Ma

Dec 10, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (center) is guarded by Cleveland Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao (back left) and small forward Alonzo Gee in the first quarter at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

It’s official that the Houston Rockets will trade Omer Asik by either next Wednesday or Thursday, and according to TNT’s David Aldridge, Anderson Varejao of the Cleveland Cavaliers has emerged as a target that the Rockets are looking to get in return.

During the first quarter of Thursday night’s telecast between the Rockets and Portland Trail Blazers, Aldridge broke down the details:

“Philadelphia and Milwaukee have been mentioned as potential destinations for Asik, but don’t count out the Cleveland Cavaliers, who have a veteran big man in Anderson Varejao who doesn’t need any plays run for him and could provide the kind of defensive play next to Howard that the Rockets had hoped Asik would provide.”

Varejao is averaging 8.5 points and 8.3 rebounds in 29 minutes per game so far this season. In the 10 years that he’s been with the Cavaliers, Varejao has career averages of 7.7 points and 7.6 rebounds, and recorded the best season of his career last year, averaging 14.1 points and 14.4 rebounds.

In essence, Varejao has similar skill sets to Asik: a big man who can defend the paint, block shots, grab rebounds, while lurking around the rim offensively and is a good screen-setter. But it could be his contract that makes general manager Daryl Morey very intrigued: Varejao is making around $9 million this season, and has a team option for next season, allowing the Rockets to part ways with him in case they want to go a different direction after the season.