Former Milwaukee Bucks center Larry Sanders appears to be on the comeback trail. After hinting at a return to the NBA last summer -- the Golden State Warriors reportedly decided against signing him -- he tweeted Thursday that he is "officially stepping back into the game" and is "looking for a good fit."
Officially stepping back into the game,looking for a good fit but it shouldn't be long now,I really missed the game,I think it missed me 2 🛐— Larry Sanders (@l8show_thegoat) January 27, 2017
If Sanders is committed to restarting his career and can produce the way he did before he left the NBA in February 2015, he could give a team a boost. The Bucks still miss his rebounding and shot-blocking, and he was an capable pick-and-roll defender, too. Here is a purely speculative list of potential fits:
- Cleveland Cavaliers: They let Timofey Mozgov walk last summer and never replaced him. Their defense has been meh most of the season. Sanders obviously isn't the playmaker LeBron James wants, but he could help other ways. Minutes, however, would be limited in a frontcourt that features Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson and Channing Frye, with James seeing some playing time at power forward.
- Boston Celtics: They desperately need a rebounding center, and their inconsistent defense is what has prevented them from making a big leap this season. There's already a bit of a logjam in the frontcourt, however.
- Charlotte Hornets: They added Roy Hibbert last summer for rim protection, but Sanders is much more mobile. Coach Steve Clifford has publicly asked the team and its fans to raise the bar, so presumably he's looking for ways to improve.
- Los Angeles Clippers: They could use another true center behind DeAndre Jordan, and they're always looking for more depth.
- Portland Trail Blazers: Their rim-protection issues are overblown -- most of their problems start on the perimeter -- but there's no doubt they could use another mobile, defensive-minded big man. That was the point of signing Festus Ezeli, after all.
- Toronto Raptors: Their defense has taken a hit with the loss of Bismack Biyombo, and the coaching staff might be more comfortable trusting someone like Sanders instead of Lucas Nogueira or rookie Jakob Poeltl in the playoffs. Jonas Valanciunas is still not the defensive anchor the Raptors hoped he would be.
- Golden State Warriors: I would assume that, if this was going to happen, it would have already. Just putting them on the list in case the rich decide they need to try to get a little richer.