Sanders, 28, stepped away from the NBA for two years prior to his arrival in Cleveland due to a bout with depression and anxiety. He was released earlier this week to clear a roster spot for Edy Tavares, who the Cavs officially signed yesterday. Apparently, Cavs GM David Griffin and head coach Tyronn Lue saw something they didn’t like in Sanders.
According to Jason Lloyd of The Athletic, Sanders struggled with punctuality on multiple occasions. Lloyd reports in his recent article that the 6’11” center actually missed the team bus when the Cavs were in Miami on Tuesday for their matchup against the Heat.
An honest Griffin spoke to members of the media after last night’s 98-83 loss to the Toronto Raptors with regards to his decision to waive Sanders — just 28 days after his arrival.
“He didn’t have any kind of a setback relative to any of the demons he had or any of those things,” Griffin explained to Lloyd. “He’s an NBA player. He’s kind of flaky. So sometimes you’re late. You’re this. You’re that.”
“None of those things were incidents. But I have to take you in totality as a player and if I know you’re not going to play, then what I’m going to get is everything else,” Griffin continued. “And if I didn’t even feel confident that he’d be a benefit to the group in practice, then it was hard for me to tell coaches, ‘This is a guy you’ve got to keep.’
“So they had the conversation on the plane, what else can we do?,” Griffin said in closing. “And we talked about it and we landed and we talked to all the rest of our staff and made a decision.”
And just like that, Sanders’ tenure with the Cavaliers came to an end. Decisions like these aren’t made easily, but sometimes they are necessary.