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Buyout season begins early in NBA with two vets signings with new teams

Yash Matange
676   //    22 Feb 2016, 18:51 IST
David Lee during his time with the Boston Celtics

Post the NBA’s mid-season trade deadline, the buyout season is the last and only available time that players can change teams. This season, that time ranges from the 18th of February to the 1st of March, the Playoffs Eligibility waiver deadline. In simple terms, players (mostly veterans) can still be waived by teams after March 1st but those players are not ineligible for post-season play, as per the collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

Less than 60 hours after the mid-season trade deadline, two big name veterans have signed with Playoff contending teams, tipping off this year’s buyout season interesting. Here are the contract and new team details of the two players:

David Lee signs with Dallas Mavericks 

A 2015 NBA Champion with the Golden State Warriors, David Lee cleared waivers at approximately 4 pm Eastern Time on the February 21 after receiving a buyout agreement with the Boston Celtics. With the C’s, Lee struggled to find satisfactory playing time averaging just 15.7 minutes per game and recording 7.1 points and 4.3 rebounds while on the court. He reached a buyout agreement in Boston hoping to play a more important role of a Playoff team.

The news came in Sunday evening that Lee has agreed to sign with the Dallas Mavericks for a prorated portion of the franchise’s 2.1 million dollar cap room exception. 

"We think he can play both big positions, some 4 and some backup 5," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. "I just think he's a quality veteran player who has been in a situation in Boston where they were overstocked and decided to go with some younger guys. We believe he can help us."

Unfortunately with 15 players on the roster, the Mavericks need to waive one player and clear a spot on the roster in order to sign Lee. In his announcement regarding Lee’s signing, Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said that reserve guard John Jenkins will be waived to clear a roster spot. Lee will officially become a member of the Mavericks on Monday.

Talking about Lee, this is what Dallas star Dirk Nowitzki had to say:

"He's a smart player. He knows how to play. He can score around the basket, he's a good passer out of the post, he's a good rebounder, which sometimes we have issues with our rebounding, so he should help us there. I just think it's another solid veteran that wants to win."

Aged 32, Lee a two-time NBA All-Star in 2010 and 2013, spent his basketball years with the Warriors from 2010 to 2014. However, an injury and Draymond Green’s improvement led to Lee falling out of the team’s rotations and eventually getting traded to Boston after winning the 2015 NBA title with Golden State. He has averaged 14.4 points and 9.2 rebounds shooting at 53.1% over a 11-year NBA career.

NBA Champs Warriors sign Anderson Varejao.

Anderson Varejao shakes hands with Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr after 2015 NBA Finals Game 6

Anderson Varejao, who spent all of his 12 years in the NBA with the Cleveland Cavaliers, confirmed on Sunday that he will sign with the Golden State Warriors for the remaining part of the season. He had cleared waivers on Sunday and will earn the veteran’s minimum contract with the Warriors, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein

The Warriors, who own the league’s best record at 49-5, were competing with rivals San Antonio Spurs to sign Varejao, after he was waived by the Portland Trailblazers on Sunday. The Trailblazers acquired Varejao as part of a three-team trade that saw Channing Fyre being shipped from the Orlando Magic to the Cavaliers. 

Varejao announced and confirmed his signing with the Warriors via a Facebook post:

Golden State Fans, excited for the opportunity do join you! Honored to join a great organization and I promise to give you my very best to contribute in every way I can! #18

Varejao will play a crucial role and an additional contributor for Golden State as Center with Festus Ezeli recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery and Andrew Bogut nursing an Achilles injury. The NBA Champions will have to cut a player before being able to confirm Varejao’s signing and Marc. J. Spears of Yahoo Sports knows who:

Aged 33, Varejao has averaged 7.6 points and 7.5 rebounds in 591 career games across his 12 seasons in the league. He agreed to a buyout with the Blazers despite 2 years and 14 million still remaining as guaranteed money on his contract. 

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