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NBA trade rumors: Anderson Varejao to OKC Thunder?

In the midst of a career year, Cleveland big man Anderson Varejao continues to be mentioned as possible trade target for the Thunder.

US PRESSWIRE

Currently the NBA's leading rebounder, Cleveland Cavaliers forward Anderson Varejao continues to present an intriguing option as a possible mid-season trade piece for contenders around the league.

And with the Thunder still eager to upgrade their frontcourt to better match up with some of the top teams in the West, Oklahoma City remains one of the most likely destinations for the 6'11 big man if he happens to be dealt. Terry Pluto of The Plain Dealer indicates that the Thunder's stockpile of draft picks could be more than enough to entice Cleveland's organization to pull a deal:

It's possible -- with Varejao having a career season -- that could change. Oklahoma City owns multiple picks, including a possible lottery pick that originally belonged to Toronto (protected for picks 1 to 3). You can imagine Varejao adding some lightning to the Thunder. But who knows if there will be a deal.

Is it possible they will trade Varejao? Of course. But they love how Varejao plays. They love that he's never asked to be traded, and seems to enjoy playing here. They love how the fans react to him. And they love his contract, very reasonable in terms of how NBA big men are paid: $8.4 million this season, $9 million in 2013-14, $9.7 million ($2.5 million guaranteed) in 2014-15.

Along with his league-leading 15.3 rebounds per game average, the veteran center is scoring at an extremely impressive 15.1-point per game clip that makes him even more attractive in any type of deal. In addition to currently sporting a career-high 80.5% mark from the foul line and an eye-popping 3.3-assist per game average, Varejao looks to be finally rounding out much of that immense potential that he entered the league with back in 2004. It may take a significant haul in order to bring his high-octane style of play to Oklahoma City, but Varejao's name is squarely on the organization's radar at this point.