The struggling Cleveland Cavaliers might have found the help they need as they signed former Milwaukee Bucks center Larry Sanders for the rest of the season
He might have been out of the league for two years but that didn’t stop the Cleveland Cavaliers from signing Larry Sanders for the rest of the season. After the Andrew Bogut injury, the Cavs were in need of rim protection. Sanders, who has been out of the league for two years, is expected to provide that. However, was this the right decision for the Cavs? Let’s take a deeper look at how this signing might affect their chances of repeating as NBA Champions.
The Cleveland Cavaliers agree to a contract with former Milwaukee Bucks forward Larry Sanders. https://t.co/Kez5oWzqNY
— USA TODAY Sports (@USATODAYsports) March 13, 2017
A once-promising talent
As Milwaukee’s 15th pick of the 2010 NBA Draft, Larry Sanders made a name for himself as one of the best shot-blockers in the league. In the 5 seasons he played with the Bucks, he had modest averages of 6.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks. After a so-so rookie and sophomore season, Sanders eventually put the league on notice in 2012-13. After trading Andrew Bogut to the Warriors in 2010-11, Milwaukee started him at center and got great results. Sanders put up 9.8 points, 9.5 rebounds, 1.2 assists, and 2.8 blocks in 71 games. Aside from this, he also had the 4th best Defensive BPM in the league with his 4.3 rating. Additionally, his 201 blocks and 7.6 block % were the 2nd and 1st marks in the NBA at that time.
#Cavs ink C Larry Sanders; waive Andrew Bogut. In 5 yrs with MIL, Sanders avg'd 6.5ppg, 5.8rpg & 1.84bpg – bpg is 6th among active players.
— Joe Gabriele (@CavsJoeG) March 13, 2017
So what happened with such a promising career? Despite his talent, Larry Sanders was a very troubled player. After the 2012-13 season, he got into a couple of off-court issues that eventually affected his game. He missed a huge chunk of his last two seasons with the Bucks thanks to suspensions after violating the NBA’s drug policy. Eventually, he walked away from the game in the 2015 season. At that time, he cited that his decision was brought about by his need to address his anxiety and depression.
Larry Sanders has agreed on a deal to make NBA return with the Cavaliers, w/ likely 2017-18 option date, league sources tell @TheVertical.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 13, 2017
Is Larry Sanders the right fit for the Cavs?
I wouldn’t really call Larry Sanders the player the Cavs want. Rather, he’s the player that the Cavs need right now. As I mentioned in my last article, this Cleveland team is in desperate need of a rim protector. Andrew Bogut would have been perfect in that role in short minutes. However, that unfortunate injury robbed the Cavs of any viable options. Of course, they could have opted for someone in the D-League. However, this isn’t a tanking team that needs a body to occupy the benches. The Cavaliers want to compete and Lebron James wants players who can contribute immediately.
OFFICIAL: Welcome to The Land, @l8show_thegoat!
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) March 13, 2017
This might just work
Personally, I think the Cavaliers did well in signing Larry Sanders to a contract. Consider this, the team is currently 1-3 in their last couple of games. Yes, Sanders has been out of the NBA for some time and his conditioning is going to be questionable. It’s unrealistic to expect him to play like an All-Star and Cleveland understands that. More than an All-Star, what the Cavs need now is another big body that can provide rim protection. Even if he doesn’t score a point, as long as Sanders blocks shots and rebounds then he should be set. At the very least, I project him to get around 10-15 minutes per game. If he can make the most of that time then the Cavs can be pretty scary in the playoffs.
Larry Sanders is making a comeback after two years away from the NBA: https://t.co/h9mh8vXix8
— ESPN (@espn) March 13, 2017
What do you think about the Larry Sanders signing? Do you think he can be of any help to the Cavs? Also, does his signing boost Cleveland’s chances of success in the postseason? Make sure your share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.