Should the Dallas Mavericks Consider Larry Sanders?
The Dallas Mavericks signed Quinn Cook and Ben Bentil to 10-day contracts this past week in an attempt to fill the missing spots in the roster. Should the Mavs give Larry Sanders a call?
The Dallas Mavericks traded away or waived 3 players (Deron Williams, Andrew Bogut, and Justin Anderson) in exchange for just 1 (Nerlens Noel) shortly before the trade deadline. This left the Mavericks with 2 roster spots to fill and a number of options to do so.
There were many players waived, others bought out, as well as D-League players who could be called up at any time. The Mavs decided to go with the latter as they agreed to a 10-day contract with both Quinn Cook and Ben Bentil, an undrafted guard and a late 2nd round forward who had not yet seen a minute of playing time in the NBA.
Although this is cause for some intrigue, these two players are far from long term solutions. Both players were excellent in the NCAA but have had enough time to at least make their presence known in the league–something they have not been able to do yet.
For that reason, I think the Mavericks should at least be exploring other options. I understand the desire for a youth movement, as I have been in favor of it for some time. However, that youth does not all need to come in the form of a rookie.
Although Larry Sanders is not really considered a young NBA player (28 years old), he certainly is not old by any means. At one point the premier shot blocker in the NBA, Sanders fell on some hard times the last few years. These difficult times are not something that the Mavericks organization should overlook, but if he believes he is past them, we could at least give the guy a chance.
Sanders was active in the league from 2010-2015. He spent all 5 of his seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks, although his last two years were very short for him playing in only 50 games total between the two years. With career averages of 6.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game, the Mavs would be more hopeful to reach his 2012-13 numbers.
During that season, Larry Sanders averaged career highs in points (9.8), rebounds (9.5), blocks (2.8!), and assists (1.7). He also shot his best FG% (50.6%) and FT% (61.8%), while playing over 27 minutes per game. Just take a look at what he was capable of that year.
Sanders is by no means a premier scorer as he has struggled to get the ball in the hoop his entire career. But, the Mavs would be getting him as the traditional, back-to-the-basket, rim-protecting, rebound-grabbing, free-throw-missing center that they have wanted for a long time.
I’m not saying that we should sign Sanders tomorrow to a long-term deal. All I am saying is he that he is a player that we should at least be giving a call, instead of waiting and giving someone else the chance to sign him.