Larry Sanders Comments on Potential Return to NBA

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 9, 2016

Milwaukee Bucks center Larry Sanders takes court against the Denver Nuggets in the fourth quarter of the Nuggets' 110-100 victory in an NBA basketball game in Denver on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Former Milwaukee Bucks center Larry Sanders has been out of the NBA for less than a year, but he is already giving consideration to a potential return. Β 

According to Shams Charania of The Vertical, the 27-year-old big man revealed Tuesday that a comeback could be in the cards once he gets his off-court life fully in order:

Once my art, music and passions off the court feel stable, I will look into coming back. I still love basketball. I want stability around me, and part of my mindset to leave was not to put all my eggs in one basket.

I feel highly valuable on any team. There aren't a lot of people who can bring my game to a team. I still play basketball all the time, staying in shape. I will need to make sure the situation is right for me.

The Bucks bought out the remainder of Sanders' $33 million contract last season shortly after his second suspension for violating the NBA's anti-drug policy.

Sanders willingly walked away from the game of basketball, and he explained his decision in a video forΒ The Players' Tribune:

Milwaukee selected Sanders with the No. 15 overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft out of VCU, and he seemed to be developing into one of the league's top defensive bigs.Β 

His breakout season came in 2012-13 when he averaged 9.8 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.8 blocks in just over 27 minutes per contest.

He appeared in just 50 games over the next two seasons, however, and his production dropped off to the tune of 7.3 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game in 27 appearances in 2014-15.

Sanders is a physical specimen at 6'11" and 235 pounds, and he will undoubtedly appeal to many teams as a big off the bench based on the potential he once flashed.

Per Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders, Sanders is also aware that he must prove his commitment if he does ultimately catch on elsewhere:

Steve Kyler @stevekylerNBA

Larry Sanders understands he'll need to re-prove his value and regain trust of his new team. Looking for fit not short term payday.

Organizations may be skeptical based on how his time with the Bucks ended, but signing him could come with high rewards.

Sanders was trending toward Defensive Player of the Year consideration, and if he can come anywhere close to that form in his second NBA stint, he'll be well worth the risk.

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