Report: Larry Sanders to meet with Cavs, wants to play for defending champs
The Cleveland Cavaliers have been scouring the trade market and preparing themselves for the buyout market as they look to make minor additions that will help their team get back to championship level basketball. One player the Cavs have been consistently interested by is Larry Sanders.
Sanders has been working out for multiple teams over the last month of the NBA season, and as recently as last night, clips from the Snap chat account of Larry Sanders showed the 6-foot-11 center arriving in Cleveland.
— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) February 22, 2017
According to Sam Amico of Amico Hoops, Sanders and his agent Joey Bell are in town to meet with the Cavaliers.
The Cavaliers have been talking with the agent for free agent center Larry Sanders, league sources told Amico Hoops early Thursday.
Sources said there is no deal yet between the Cavs and Sanders, but Sanders has supposedly made it known he would prefer to play for the Cavs over other teams showing interest. More than 15 teams have explored signing Sanders so far this season, sources said.
The Cavaliers players return from the All-Star break and will practice on Thursday, where Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com adds that the team is also believed to have a workout set with Sanders.
Cleveland believed to have workout set with free agent Larry Sanders today, sources tell ESPN. Sanders hasn't played since 2014-15 season.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) February 22, 2017
Sanders has shown his ability to be a force back in the 2012-13 season with the Milwaukee Bucks, where he averaged 9.8 points, 9.5 rebounds, 1.2 assists, and 2.8 blocks in just 27.7 minutes per game. He was second in the league in blocks behind Serge Ibaka that season. He ended up leaving the NBA in the middle of the 2014-15 season after playing just 27 games due to an internal battle with depression. After two years, Sanders tweeted last month that he was ready to go and told Zach Frydenlund of Complex Music back in July of 2016 that his motivation is to win an NBA Championship.
“I want to be in the right place mentally, and they deserve that,” Sanders said. “The team and the fans deserve that and it will be a situation where I feel completely safe, the team feels completely safe and we’re ready to rock ‘n’ roll. I’m not going to go to a situation with one foot in and one out. It would be a fully committed thing with no pressure.”
As far as his motivations to play professional basketball again, Sanders said that it has nothing to do with money, but rather, with the quest to win a championship.
Being out of the league for two years is something that’s not easy to come back from, but it’s definitely doable. As Amico noted, about 15 other teams were interested in signing Sanders, but Sanders’ preference is to play for the defending champions. If he’s in good enough shape and money is not an issue, it makes sense for both sides to get a deal done sooner rather than later.