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Rumors: Anderson Varejao Getting an Extension?

Anderson Varejao could get a contract extension… Rondo back for the opener? Knicks like Marc Gasol…

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Varejao’s contract getting extended?

The Cleveland Cavaliers are engaged in serious talks with center Anderson Varejao on a contract extension, according to sources
Talks have progressed in recent weeks, but there’s no agreement imminent.

Via Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports!

It’s not very often with the current Collective Bargaining Agreement that it makes sense for a player to sign an extension rather than exploring unrestricted free agency. However, in Varejao’s case, there is actually the potential for a deal to be made. First, he’s a lifelong Cavalier. At 32 years of age, especially with the team they’ve put together now, Varejao doesn’t have any desire to go anywhere else. So, exploring the open market holds no appeal to him.

The issue is that Varejao could receive up to a five year deal as an unrestricted free agent, whereas with an extension he can only add on three more years to his current deal. The Cavaliers may not be willing to offer a fifth year anyway, but a four-year offer would almost be a certainty.

It really comes down to how important that fourth year is to Varejao. Unlike the 2011 draft class that is negotiating against an October 31 deadline for extensions, the only deadline for the Cavaliers and Varejao is months away. They have until July 30 to come to terms.

Rondo back for the opener?

Rajon Rondo will practice on Monday and will check for the doctors’ final clearance on whether he can return for the Boston Celtics’ season opener on Wednesday.

Rondo said he has a “79 percent” chance to play Wednesday. The guard will receive one more X-ray. If cleared, he will play.

Via Gary Washburne of the Boston Globe

This is an encouraging development for the Celtics, who need as much time as possible to see how Rajon Rondo handles being in this rebuilding situation before making a decision on whether to trade him before the trade deadline. Rondo missed training camp because of the broken hand injury, and was out a big portion of last season too as he recovered from a torn ACL. This is going to be the first time that they can truly evaluate him at full strength. Rondo is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, and with the cap rising and contending teams on the hunt for a point guard, there’s a legitimate fear that they could lose him for nothing. The league knows that, and will try to pry him away at the deadline, but so far the Celtics are making it clear that they want to keep Rondo long-term. That could change, though, if Rondo seems unhappy a couple months from now.

Knicks interested in Marc Gasol

The New York Knicks are widely expected to pursue Marc Gasol with cap space in the 2015 offseason.

Phil Jackson coached Pau Gasol with the Los Angeles Lakers and he believes Marc Gasol is the “quintessential center to play in the triangle offense.”

Via Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal

The Knicks certainly have a hole to fill at the center position after trading Tyson Chandler this offseason to the Dallas Mavericks. They did receive Samuel Dalembert, who will fill in for Chandler in the short-term, but they need a long-term solution and there may not be a better one than Gasol. Gasol has the same court vision, versatile offensive skill set and basketball IQ that made his brother Pau so successful in the offense.

Gasol has played with the Grizzlies his entire career, but is likely going to garner multiple max contract offers this offseason as an unrestricted free agent. The Grizzlies know his value more than anyone else and are the only team that can offer the full five-year max, but given some of the turmoil the franchise has experienced, he may be convinced that his best shot to win a championship is elsewhere. Obviously, the success of the Grizzlies this year will have a major impact on his decision.

Yannis Koutroupis is Basketball Insiders' Managing Site Editor and Senior Writer. He has been covering the NBA and NCAA for seven years.

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