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Cavaliers match offer for Varejao

December 06, 2007|From the Associated Press

Restricted free-agent forward Anderson Varejao will stay with Cleveland after the Cavaliers matched the Charlotte Bobcats' $17-million, three-year offer sheet Wednesday.

The Cavaliers had until Tuesday to match the offer sheet or lose the 6-foot-10 forward.

Cleveland's decision came only a day after Charlotte and Varejao agreed to terms -- and on the day of the Cavaliers' fifth straight loss. That includes going 0-4 without LeBron James (finger).

A fan favorite, Varejao, 25, averaged a career-best 6.8 points and 6.7 rebounds last season as the Cavaliers reached the NBA Finals for the first time. He can opt out of the deal in the summer of 2009 and become an unrestricted free agent.

Coach Mike Brown said he hadn't spoken to Varejao and wasn't sure when he would join the team.

Already without point guard Mike Bibby (thumb), the Sacramento Kings lost leading scorer Kevin Martin for four to six weeks after he pulled a groin muscle Tuesday against the Utah Jazz.

Martin was averaging 24.5 points.

San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan is "50-50" for Friday's game against Utah but is more likely to return Tuesday at the Golden State Warriors after being sidelined since Sunday by a sprained right ankle, Coach Gregg Popovich said.

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