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Cavaliers match offer by Bobcats, Varejao to stay with Cleveland

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CLEVELAND (AP) - The Cleveland Cavaliers will match the three-year offer sheet made by Charlotte to restricted free agent Anderson Varejao. The move ends a protracted contract dispute that has kept the 6-foot-10 Brazilian sidelined this season. The Bobcats had reached the 17 million dollar deal yesterday. The deal gave the Cavaliers a week to match it or lose him. Cleveland's decision this morning came after the Cavaliers lost their fourth straight game. They are 0-3 without LeBron James, who sprained his left index finger a week ago. Varejao is known for his energy and defense. He averaged a career-best 6.8 points and 6.7 rebounds last season in helping the Cavaliers reach the NBA finals for the first time. Varejao could opt out of the deal after the second season. (Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)