CLEVELAND — Editor's note: the video in the player above is from a previous story.
A former mainstay of the Cleveland Cavaliers roster is returning to the franchise, with Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reporting that the team is signing center Anderson Varejao for the remainder of the 2020-21 NBA season.
The Cavs' signing of Varejao comes as a shock to many, as the 13-year NBA veteran hadn't previously played in the league since the 2016-17 season. Now 38-years-old, Varejao played for Flamengo in his native country of Brazil from 2018-2019.
Originally acquired in a trade with the Orlando Magic in 2004, Varejao spent 12 seasons with the Cavs, averaging 7.6 points and 7.5 rebounds in 591 regular-season games. Affectionately known as "Wild Thing" thanks to curly hair, Varejao was a fan favorite in Cleveland thanks to his hard, defensive-minded play and ability to get under opponents' skin.
Upon being traded to the Portland Trail Blazers in a salary cap clearing move in 2016, it was Cavs fans who the 6-foot-11 center wound up bothering. After being released by Portland, Varejao opted to sign with Cleveland's chief rival, the Golden State Warriors and faced off with the Cavs during his former team's seven-game victory in the 2016 NBA Finals.
Upon being released by Golden State during the 2016-17 season, Varejao spent two seasons playing in Brazil and even made at least one appearance as a guest at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse during the Cavs' 2019-20 season. Currently sitting at 21-41, Cleveland has 10 games remaining in the 2020-21 campaign.