Former Bucks big man Larry Sanders has signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers according to reports from ESPN.
The 28-year-old was waived by the Bucks in 2015 as he battled with anxiety and depression but will fill out the Cavs roster pending a medical.
The signing comes after Andrew Bogut fractured his left tibia against the Miami Heat last week.
The Australian centre played 58 seconds before being assisted off the court and is expected to be waived to make space for the 6’11” Sanders.
He averaged just over seven points and six rebounds in his last season with the Bucks but provided 1.4 blocks per game.
The Cavs are looking for serious rim protection with their tallest player, Channing Frye, averaging only half a block per game.
While Frye is certainly a more serviceable big man on offence since he’s able to stretch the floor and shoot the 3, the Cavaliers have been decimated by opposing players getting to the rim at will.
While reports suggest Sanders isn’t in full basketball shape just yet, the Cavs hope he’ll be able to give them some kind of impact off the bench in the post-season.
But the greater focus here should be on Sanders’ successful return to basketball.
While mental illness isn’t something that can simply be cured, it’s a reason to celebrate for Sanders who feels that he is able to compete in the NBA while balancing the issues.
“If I get to a point where I feel I’m capable of playing basketball again then I will.
“I think this is seen to be a desirable, lucrative job and position. So people say ‘how could you be unhappy there? How could that be a place you don’t want to be?’ The values and the relationships with the people I love that are around me. That’s my real riches.”
Welcome back Larry.