Not to start a cross-country spitting match (been there, done that), but our friends at Fox Sports Ohio have posted a thinly reported story on the possibility that the Lakers might have an interest in acquiring Anderson Verejao now that former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Mike Brown is coaching the purple-and-gold. It’s another example of the silly season, the endless barrage of speculative offseason stories that might or might not pan out. Anyway, I think you’ll agree this particular story needed further digging.
Here’s the story, with my cynical, hard-bitten commentary after each paragraph:
Mike Brown and the Lakers would love to have Cavaliers forward Anderson Varejao on their team. That much we know.
[Me: You know? How? Please tell us.]
What we don’t know is if the Lakers will make a serious play for Varejao during Thursday’s NBA draft.
[Me: Well, duh.]
Brown coached Varejao during all five of Brown’s seasons in Cleveland, and not surprisingly, grew to love Varejao’s defense, energy and attitude. Now that Brown has been hired as Phil Jackson’s replacement with the Lakers, sources say he is trying to convince the Lakers front office to see what it would take to bring Varejao to L.A.
[Me: OK. Tell us more.]
Now, none of this is to say the Lakers will follow through. There is no hard evidence that they have contacted the Cavs about the man known as “Wild Thing,” or that they ever will. But as one Lakers insider said, it almost makes too much sense not to explore.
[Me: My news reporting 101 professor is rolling over in her grave right now.]
What the insider didn’t know was what it would take to get Varejao, or even if the Cavs would be willing to part with him.
[Me: OK, but why not ask the source?]
“I’d say there’s a 10, maybe 20, percent chance the Lakers make a trade,” the source said. “If it is something they decide to do, I don’t think there’s any question (Varejao) would be among the players highly targeted.”
[Me: Sounds pretty unlikely then. Maybe not even worthy of posting a story.]
No one can be sure what the Lakers would offer in return, although All-Star forward Pau Gasol’s name is being tossed around the rumor mill. That’s because Gasol’s postseason play was considered disappointing by many, and a big reason the team suffered a second-round sweep against eventual champion Dallas.
[Me: Gasol's name is being tossed around because the Minnesota Timberwolves' front office leaks like a sieve and has contributed mightily to the rumors.]
The source said the Cavs would “obviously have to surrender more” than just Varejao to land Gasol, mentioning the Cavs’ No. 4 draft pick and point guard Ramon Sessions as possible additional assets.
[Me: Gasol is an All-Star; these guys are just guys.]
Meanwhile, other sources have indicated that while the Lakers might be interested in Varejao, consummating a trade would be difficult. It seems, many say, that neither side would agree to what the other would propose.
[Me: Which is why so few trades are actually completed.]
So is it possible Varejao ends up in L.A.? Sure, anything is possible. But as one source said, “at the end of the day, it’s probably not too likely. The Cavs love Andy, as they should, and they aren’t going to give him away just because the Lakers might want him.”
[Me: Thanks again for contributing to the silly season.]