Red Right 88

Cleveland sports fan and sports writer

Location: Cleveland, Ohio, United States

quit my job decided to drive west

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Sideshow Bob ready to resurface

Well the silliest holdout in the history of sports is about to end. Many sources including ESPN are reporting that the Charlotte Bobcats have signed Anderson Varejao to an offer sheet of 3 years and $17.4 million dollars. It is the Bobcats mid-level exemption.

What does that mean?

Basically it is about saving face. The Bobcats need a front line player as injuries as decimated them of bigs. This allowed the Bobcats fans to think the front office is trying to fix the problem. And it allows Varejao's agent Dan Fegan a way of ending this holdout without having to bend over for Danny Ferry. The Cavs will match the offer sheet and Sideshow Bob will make his way back to Cleveland just one week after publicly saying he didn't want to play here anymore.

There is a reported opt-out clause in the contract so Anderson can become a restricted free agent sooner rather than later. If he turns out to be who his agent has convinced him is-- it will allow him a huge contract in either one year or two depending on reports. Mostly likely two years would be the best guess.

The real story behind this mess is that agents want to change the system. While some players make still huge amounts of money because some owners are stupid-- the league has set up some rules to help curb owners from really hurting themselves. That is why there is cap and all of these exceptions and rules when and where free agents are really free agents. And why teams can get a Larry Bird discount and the such. Fegan wanted superstar money based on his stats and the fact Varejao is really important to the Cavs future. But Danny Ferry after being burned in his first few months on the job by Hughes, Marshall, Jones among others- decided he needed to be more prudent. Fegan rolled the dice in the summer by reportedly turning down an offer sheet from Memphis figuring the Cavs had to cave. They didn't. Peer pressure helped- if the Cavs caved then the rest of the league was preparing for agents to do the same next summer. Fegan would become the agent of almost every contract year player and because the biggest tool of all the agents. But Ferry held.

Fegan used his relationship with Charlotte's Gm to sign the offer sheet- a sheet the Bobcats knew Cleveland would match to get his client on the floor somewhere.

You have heard of win-win. Well this holdout was lose-lose for everyone. Andy got less money. Fegan did not change the world and gain new clients. Cleveland lost a valuable player for the start of the season and it could be weeks before Andy is really ready to play.

I think his teammates will welcome Varejao without issue. They understand more than anyone this is a business and only really April, May and June count in the NBA. But it will be interesting to see how this affects Andy and the fans. He was the fan's favorite because of his hair, his charges and hustle all over the floor.

My guess most of the hate directed towards Andy for his comments is from the vocal few on the Internet and talk radio. Most of the bandwagon fans will hop back aboard as soon as he plays like he did before. Which leads to my other question-- can he play that way again? Reports say he is out of shape and has not worked out like he should. Sasha Pavlovic reportedly worked out twice a day and practiced with his hometown team during his holdout and he is just now starting to get into game shape. If Anderson tries to play like he did before he is in shape- he will get injured. And after last season's playoff run every coach on every team we play will be harping on officials that he is a flopper-- will he still get those calls.

We will have to wait and see. But at least the dumbest hold out in history is over.