The recent trade deadline beater pulled off by the Cleveland Cavaliers hit hard on members of the organization and long time fans alike. 12-year veteran Anderson Varejao was shipped to the Orlando Magic in exchange for the sweet-shooting seven-footer Channing Frye.

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Regarded by most as the team’s heart and soul, the Brazilian bundle of energy started his NBA career in 2004 and found his way to Cleveland after a draft day trade with, ironically, the Orlando Magic. He is also the remaining active player who has spent the most seasons playing with LeBron James.

Joe Vardon of shared James’ thoughts on parting ways with one of his “favorite teammates”.

“You lose a brother, you lose a teammate. That’s the worst part about it.”

“But I bet he’s got tons of people reaching out to him right now. I’m going to kind of let it, I don’t like to reach out right away. I’d like to let it boil down a little bit. Our friendship doesn’t have to have a text message behind it.”

Both James and Varejao saw their games grow alongside one another as they transformed the Cavaliers from a promising young team into a perennial Eastern Conference contender during James’ first tenure in Cleveland. Varejao’s ability to effectively slide down the paint in pick-and-roll situations perfectly fit James’ knack for passing.

The 6’10” power forward stuck it out in Cleveland even through the dark days, never requested for a trade, and further professed his love for the franchise and city by proclaiming his desire to retire as a Cavalier. However, the business and winning aspect always outweigh the sentimental part.

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As of this writing, Anderson Varejao has been placed on waivers by the Portland Trail Blazers, the third team team involved in the deal. A return to Cleveland and another reunion with LeBron James isn’t out of the question, but that would have to wait until after a year due to the “Zydrunas Ilgauskas rule”.