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Cavaliers Take a Risk Signing Sanders

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Larry Sanders made his first NBA appearance in more than two years. Photo: AP

With the recent signing of Larry Sanders, we are seeing just how deep the Cleveland Cavaliers have to dig into the free agency to find a big man, and how deep their roster can potentially be if everyone can remain healthy.

Sanders last played in the NBA in the 2014-2015 season, citing mental health and lack of motivation for his departure. He entered a program at Rogers Memorial Hospital to receive help.  Sanders also received several suspensions for marijuana use during his five-year tenure with the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Cavaliers signed Sanders to fill the void left when Andrew Bogut was injured during his team debut, a defensive minded big man that can come off the bench when called upon. Needless to say, many analysts and fans believe that it will take a significant amount of time for Sanders to re-acclimate to the NBA lifestyle and to be in the physical condition required to be effective on the court.

NBA executives seem to feel the same, as Sanders made his announcement to return Jan. 26 and didn’t garner interest until the Cavaliers had no other options. If there was a team that could wait for Sanders to get into game shape and ease him back into the NBA however, it would be the Cavaliers. With many people believing the East is an easy path to the finals, this gives Sanders plenty of time to mesh with this ever-changing Cavalier squad.

In the event the Cavaliers are able to resurrect Sanders into what he once was, this addition could definitely provide an interior, defensive energy off the bench. Sanders averaged 7 points, 6 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks in his final season with the Bucks. Sanders made his Cleveland Cavaliers debut on March 14, playing two minutes, missing his only shot attempt, and recording two fouls.

By Matt Stout

Matt Stout is a professional writing student at York College of Pennsylvania. Reach him at mstout4@ycp.edu

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