Cleveland Cavaliers forward/center Anderson Varejao is in a good place right now as far as his basketball life both home and abroad is concerned. Brian Windhorst of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports:
Not only is Varejao sporting a new contract, he’s also got his national hero status back.
Healthy and with a new six-year, $48 million deal, he was able to play to Brazil in the FIBA Americas Championship in Puerto Rico. He played well, averaging 13.6 points and 8.4 rebounds, and the Brazilians won the gold medal and qualified for next summer’s world championships. Team USA didn’t take part.
“It was a good summer for me, it was good to be able to play for Brazil again,” Varejao said. “When I was at the airport in Sao Paulo on my way back, there were people who wanted to take their pictures with me now.”
Varejao said it helped that the team’s performance in Brazil got excellent television coverage at home. But what he did after he came back didn’t hurt his reputation, either.
The Cavs remain one of several favorites in the Eastern conference to reach the NBA Finals. The team is playing Varejao more money than what a role player expects to make. I’m not sure how much he can improve.