Sources told ESPN.com that the Cavaliers learned Wednesday from the league office that they have received the DPE worth nearly $4.9 million after Varejao was felled by the tear in his heel on Dec. 23.
The Cavaliers, whose frustrating months-long search for frontcourt reinforcements has been well-documented, can now use the exception to sign one player or trade for a player on a one-year contract whose salary does not exceed that amount. The DPE expires March 10.
It should be noted, though, that Cleveland has already been scouring the trade market with a similar trade exception valued at $5.3 million, which it created in late September by trading veteran guard Keith Bogans to Philadelphia in a three-team swap.
The Cavs have been pursuing a number of centers dating back to the summer -- including Denver's Timofey Mozgov, Memphis' Kosta Koufos and the Los Angeles Lakers' Robert Sacre -- but have yet to find a palatable deal.