If Larry Sanders does make a return to the league, should the Dallas Mavericks give the veteran a look?
It was just a few years ago that Larry Sanders was one of the brightest big men coming up in the league. Milwaukee drafted Sanders with the 15th pick in the 2010 draft, but it wasn’t until the 2012-13 season that he had his coming out party.
Sanders finished the 2012-13 season averaging right at a double-double while averaging almost three blocks a night. He started in 55 games for Milwaukee that season before hitting free agency wide open two summers later.
In was in the summer of 2014 that Larry Sanders signed a four-year, $44 million extension with the Bucks as he looked to be their anchor for many years to come.
Then Sanders shocked the world.
Just a year into the deal, Sanders decided to walk away from the game to deal with some serious mental issues he was sorting through. Giving up over $21 million and stretching the rest over seven years, the fame, game, and money came second to Sanders.
With rumors circulating last year about a possible return to the league, he never made the return. Now, Sanders is teasing everyone once again with his latest series of tweets.
To be thorough, Sanders sent out a similar tweet before this one of four other teams that included the Celtics, Warriors, Knicks, and Cavs. But why these eight teams?
This obviously sent the NBA world buzzing as Sanders could be contemplating once again a return to the league. Could these eight teams be the teams that have shown interest in bringing Sanders in? Could they be teams that he, individually, thinks he could fit the best with?
Nobody knows, but if Dallas has the chance to bring him to camp, they should do it immediately.
Sanders is still just 27-years old and played his last game in the NBA just over a year and a half ago. If his mental health issues are truly past him and he is committed to playing in the NBA again, he could be a steal on the open market for the price he will come in at.
For Dallas, you absolutely spend the money to bring the guy to camp. At center, Dallas has Andrew Bogut locking down the middle, but he does have a past of injuries and hits free agency next summer. Salah Mejri is locked in as the immediate backup while second round draft pick A.J. Hammons has a lot of proving to do if he plans on getting minutes…or even making the team.
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Sanders would come to camp and compete immediately to be the third center on the roster, something similar to what JaVale McGee was last year. But Sanders could be much better than McGee.
Dallas would be appealing to Sanders because he would have the opportunity to get back to a starting role on a playoff caliber team fairly quick. If he came in this coming year and proved he hadn’t lost a beat, Dallas could entertain trading Bogut midseason or let Bogut walk next summer. Plus, the stability that management and Rick Carlisle would offer could be appealing to the young man.
The fact is, nobody knows what Sanders could be. Could he come to camp and be completely out of shape and unworthy of a roster spot? Absolutely. Could he come to camp and show that he hasn’t lost a touch and is still the big man he was in Milwaukee? Absolutely.
It’s a risk you have to take if you’re Dallas, but the ball is in Larry Sanders’ court.
If Sanders is serious about making a comeback, Dallas should make it happen.