After retiring from the NBA back in 2014, former Milwaukee Bucks forward-center Larry Sanders has been mulling a return to the NBA. Should the Brooklyn Nets consider signing Sanders?
Larry Sanders once appeared to be a promising talent for the Milwaukee Bucks. Milwaukee drafted Sanders with the 15th overall pick in the first round of the 2010 Draft out of Virginia Commonwealth University.
During his Bucks tenure, Sanders showed flashes of potential that had many thinking he could develop into an All-Star. However, unfortunately for Sanders, battles with anxiety and depression caused him to retire from the NBA in December 2014.
In the time since, Sanders has contemplated a return to the NBA. However, Sanders, who is now 27, is willing to wait for the right scenario. As Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders reports, Sanders is not interested in signing a camp-only deal, even if it meant joining a contender.
Kyler reports Sanders is looking for a situation with “real opportunity.” Most teams have their rosters set at this point, but Sanders could find an opportunity with the Brooklyn Nets.
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Brooklyn has Brook Lopez entrenched at center, the same position that Sanders played for four years. But Sanders did play 52 games at Power Forward in 2011-12. If he were to join the Nets, that is likely where he would slot into Brooklyn’s lineup.
Sanders hasn’t played in the NBA in nearly two years, but once he gets in game shape, he would be a useful piece for the Nets. If Sanders comes back and plays as he did during his Milwaukee days, he would add a talented Center/Forward to a team.
The Nets also have the ability to bring in a player such as Sanders thanks to their current cap situation. Brooklyn has nearly $17 million in cap space at this point, which should be sufficient space to sign Sanders. It’s unclear what Sanders’ asking price would be, but Brooklyn is in a unique position. The Nets likely wouldn’t have to make an additional salary cap move — such as a trade — to take on Sanders.
Sanders is looking for an opportunity that offers playing time. He’s also looking for a team that won’t cut him midway through training camp. If the Nets are interested, Sanders may find that Brooklyn checks off both of those boxes. This would be a rare opportunity to add a player who could make a large impact, just prior to training camp.
Of course, Brooklyn would have to ensure that Sanders is serious about joining the team. He has walked away once, and seemingly could again if he chose to. However, if Sanders is committed to playing basketball, he has the ability to be a key contributor for a team.