The Golden State Warriors have emerged as the heavy favorite to sign soon-to-be free agent Anderson Varejao, league sources told ESPN.
League sources told ESPN that Varejao is leaning strongly toward joining the Warriors now that he has cleared waivers.
But sources say that the San Antonio Spurs are still trying to convince Varejao to spurn the opportunity to join the NBA's reigning champions.
The veteran big man spent the first 11 1/2 seasons of his career with the Cavaliers until being traded Thursday. Sources say Varejao has narrowed his choices down to Golden State and San Antonio after also attracting offers from, among others, Oklahoma City, Atlanta and the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Warriors would have to release a player to create an open roster spot but have a need for an additional contributor on the front line with Festus Ezeli recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery and Andrew Bogut nursing an Achilles injury.
Heading to Golden State would not only unite Varejao with his Brazilian national team teammate Leandro Barbosa but, of course, raise the possibility of an emotional homecoming to Cleveland during the NBA Finals if the Warriors and Cavs can indeed force a rematch of last season's championship series.
Along with Barbosa, the Warriors have a strong Varejao recruiter in Luke Walton, who played with Varejao in Cleveland.
Varejao was dealt to Portland on Thursday before the league's annual trade deadline as part of a three-team swap that landed Channing Frye with the Cavaliers. The Blazers promptly agreed to waive Varejao despite the two years and nearly $14 million in guaranteed money left on his contract after this season, joining the trade with Orlando largely to collect the future first-round pick Cleveland included to sweeten the transaction.