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Where In The World Is Anderson Varejao?

Anderson Varejao looks and plays like a bizarro Joakim Noah to me. That being said, you may have noticed (but probably not, because you have been so focused on LeBron James) that the Cleveland Cavaliers have been without Varejao since the beginning of the 2007-08 NBA season. His absence did not hurt the Cavs much last night as they knocked off the NBA’s best team, the Boston Celtics, in overtime.

Varejao is not on any NBA active roster because he is holding out from signing a deal that he believes would be a gross undervaluation of his services. He feels that the Cavs have played him like a fool and would rather continue training in Brazil instead of signing a low value contract with Cleveland. In fact, if Cleveland ends up signing Varejao, he hopes to be traded immediately [Varejao on Cleveland: ‘I don’t want to play there anymore’].

But Danny Ferry (GM for the Cavs) is not willing to give up on Varejao. He believes that there is still a chance to sign the center/forward and make him happy to stay in Cleveland. The problem is that Varejao has had just about enough of Ferry’s tactics to make him a Cav for at least another year.

Here are some things Ferry has done (or has refused to do), which has restricted Varejao’s immediate re-entry into the NBA:

  • As a restricted free agent, Varejao has to sign with the Cavs if they match another team’s offer. Ferry has threatened to match prior high dollar offers, and Varejao has refused to sign.
  • He has been unwilling to sign Varejao to a lower-paying one-year contract and instead wants to pay Varejao a “reasonable” long-term contract.
  • He refuses to go to an arbitrator, even though he does not want to deal directly with Varejao’s agent, Dan Fegen. Fegen has even endorsed the involvement of an arbitrator.
  • Ferry attempted to incude Varejao into signing with the Cavs in February by showing up to Varejao’s home unannounced and without giving any notice to Fegan.  Varejao was having nothing to do with working around his agent in negotiations.

This is a nice example of a contract negotiation gone very bad.  So bad that both sides are having extreme difficulties getting around their despise for one another.  Hopefully the Cavs end up getting some value out of their former player and Varejao ends up happy and with some more money in his pocket.  For anything to work out, though, Ferry needs to understand that Fegan must be included in all communication.

-Darren Heitner 

By Darren Heitner

Darren Heitner created Sports Agent Blog as a New Year's Resolution on December 31, 2005. Originally titled, "I Want To Be A Sports Agent," the website was founded with the intention of causing Heitner to learn more about the profession that he wanted to join, meet reputable individuals in the space and force himself to stay on top of the latest news and trends.

Heitner now runs Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., which is a law firm with many practice areas, including sports law and contract law. Heitner has represented numerous athletes and sports agents as legal counsel. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University Bloomington from 2011-2014, where he created and taught a course titled, Sport Agency Management, which included subjects ranging from NCAA regulations to athlete agent certification and the rules governing the profession. Heitner serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches a Sports Law class that includes case law surrounding athlete agents and the NCAA rules.

3 replies on “Where In The World Is Anderson Varejao?”

Another take, per Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports:

“Monday, Varejao’s agent, Dan Fegan, apparently set him up with a writer to say he wants a sign-and-trade out of Cleveland. He’s rejecting the reported $32 million that Cleveland has offered him, and he thinks there are bigger riches on the market for him.

Maybe there’s a few more dollars, but not much more. Fegan has his client talking tough and he’s committing career suicide. He’ll never have it as good as chasing championships next to James for years and years. Varejao is letting Fegan use him to get his reputation back after the Yi Jianlian draft debacle, and that’s a shame. To hear Varejao insist he wants out is troubling to James. As much as anything, LeBron seems offended that a teammate would no longer want to play with him.”;_ylt=AreYb7WoMBfNVa3sPQOZOgy8vLYF?slug=aw-lebron112807&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

After reading some of the offers, I was quite surprised that Varejao refused them as well. But most reports say that it was Varejao who vetoed the deals, not Fegan. Varejao seems pretty adamant about getting out of Cleveland unless they give him a very overvalued contract. It looks like he’s pitching for a 1-year contract so that he can get rid of his restricted status.

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