Varejao suffered a torn Achilles last month…
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The Cleveland Cavaliers have reportedly been granted a disabled player exception valued around $5m after center Anderson Varejao was ruled out for the season.
Varejao suffered an Achilles tear on December 23 and was ruled out for the rest of the season, and sources told ESPN on Wednesday that the Cavs learned from the league office that they have received the DPE worth nearly $4.9m.
The Cavaliers required more depth and talent in the front-court prior to Varejao’s injury, and they will now likely use the exception to sign one player or trade for a player on a one-year contract whose salary does not exceed that amount.
The DPE expires on March 10, and so the search could yet take time for the franchise to acquire cover for Varejao, although given that they have already been scouring the trade market for a while, it is likely that they will know who to target.
Cleveland have been pursuing a number of centers dating back to the summer with the likes of Timofey Mozgov, Kosta Koufos and Robert Sacre all linked with a move to the organisation.
However, they have yet to find a realistic deal for any of their reported targets, and so they will need to come up with an attractive deal to persuade those teams to part company with their players.
It has been a problematic start to the year for the Cavaliers as they sit in fifth spot in the Eastern Conference with a 18-14 record, and issues reportedly continue to arise between coach David Blatt and the players while injuries are not helping their situation.
Reports last week suggested that Blatt was struggling to reach the players while LeBron James failed to make a significant defence of his coach when questioned about the situation. James is also currently sidelined with a sore knee, while Varejao, Kevin Love, Shawn Marion and Kyrie Irving have all missed time recently.