Trade talks surrounding Cleveland Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao have been gaining steam ever since he decided he was going to have a career year this season.
Varejao is leading the league in rebounding this year averaging 14.4 boards per game to go with 14.1 points and 3.4 assists.
The idea the Cavaliers have is trading the 30-year old veteran to a contender in need and capitalize on his sky rocketing trade value this season.
The Oklahoma City Thunder have not come out and said anything about the possibilities of a Varejao trade but they are definitely the type of team that could be a major player with the assets they have.
The Thunder could package Kendrick Perkins along with Perry Jones III, Jeremy Lamb or Eric Maynor as well as a few of the three 2013 first round draft picks they possess.
As much as a Varejao trade makes sense for the Thunder, there is a very low chance of it happening.
If there is one thing we have learned about the Thunder, it’s that they stick to their guns. Right now, that means Kendrick Perkins.
Perkins basically shouldn’t be playing for the Thunder as far as statistics go. He’s one of the worst offensive big men in the league and defensively his impact is being lost as the Thunder’s small lineups perform just as well as when he’s on the floor.
But the impact Perkins makes as a leader and in the locker room is valued very much by the Thunder. That’s why he still plays so much and that’s why that’s not going to change any time soon.
The other part of this trade that makes it very unlikely is the Thunder’s hypothetical unloading of assets.
When the Thunder made the very tough decision to trade James Harden before the start of this season, it was partly made easier because they were now going to have all of these assets and be set for the next decade to form a contender year after year.
The Thunder didn’t trade Harden to get assets that they can flip into a 30-year old center having a career year this season. That’s just the truth and the Thunder aren’t going to abandon their plan anytime soon.
At the end of the day, Varejao just isn’t a big enough piece right now for the Thunder to pursue, especially when they are already happy with Perkins, as hard as that can be to believe.
There are newer rumors out there saying that if the Thunder are to consider making a trade this season, it would be for a bigger, younger name like Atlanta’s Josh Smith or even Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins. But both of those scenarios seem even more unlikely than Varejao right now since keeping either long-term would be near impossible for OKC.
It’s fun to think of trades that can help your team but the Thunder aren’t a team looking to overhaul anything right now. They have close to the best record in the league, the most efficient offense in the league and an improving defense nearing elite. That’s good enough for now and might even be good enough for a title this year.