Houston Chronicle (Houston, TX)

Union has beef with system.

Byline: Jonathan Feigen

Dec. 9--If Anderson Varejao held out much longer, he might have negotiated his way down to minimum wage.

Varejao went from high-energy, valuable Cavaliers defender/flopper to cautionary tale, but he might have also become the face of the next Players' Association cause.

Varejao held out through the summer, preseason and first month of the season, finally settling on a three-year, $17.4 million offer from the Bobcats.

Because he was a restricted free agent, the Cavaliers did not have to get in a bidding war and matched the offer. He will almost certainly opt out after two seasons, earning about $11 million, less than he could have gotten with one phone call.

"I'm happy to be back in Cleveland and grateful to the Bobcats for their offer because that helped to get this deal done," Varejao said. "I got what I wanted, so now let's forget what happened [during the negotiations] and move on."

But he is not alone. No restricted free agent changed teams this offseason, with the term "restricted free agent" having become an oxymoron. …

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