A potential Larry Sanders NBA return has been a story for several months now. In fact, during the offseason, Sanders himself posted a couple tweets to his followers on Twitter, asking: “Which team do you believe will utilize my skills the best?” A detailed analysis of how he would likely fit on each of the eight potential teams was written by yours truly back in July.
Well, it looks like the wait is finally over, as Sanders has officially agreed to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers for at least the rest of this season, Shams Charania of The Vertical reported Monday morning.
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
When the recently-signed Andrew Bogut saw his season end after just 58 seconds due to a fractured tibia, the Cavaliers knew they had to make a move to fill his void. The Cavs will likely waive the injured Bogut in order to make room for Sanders.
Despite the fact that the Sanders hasn’t played in an NBA game in more than two years, he should be able to contribute for the Cavs in limited minutes. At 6’11”, he gives the Cavs a big body who has shown great defensive ability, as he has a career 1.8 blocks per game average from his five seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks. Also, still just 28 years old, the possibility that he remains with the team beyond just the rest of this season is very much in play. The depth this team already has should also allow Sanders to work his way back slowly, as he gets back into the scheme of things in the NBA after a couple years away.
With there being a little more than a month remaining until the start of the playoffs, Sanders will likely get a chance to get some burn before the team really needs him. This signing is just the latest of what has been a very active season throughout for the Cavaliers, as they prepare for another playoff run in which they hope will end with them hoisting up the Larry O’Brien trophy in June for the second straight year.