Larry Sanders, Cleveland Cavaliers Agree to Contract

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 13, 2017

PORTLAND, OR - DECEMBER 17:  Larry Sanders #8 of the Milwaukee Bucks stands on the court against the Portland Trail Blazers on December 17, 2014 at the Moda Center Arena in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)
Sam Forencich/Getty Images

Center Larry Sanders has signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers, the team announced on Monday.

Shams Charania of The Vertical was the first to report the deal, noting it will likely include a team option for the 2017-18 season. Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio reported Sanders may join team activities as soon as Tuesday.

David Aldridge of reported the plan is for Sanders to practice with the Cavs and play for its D-League team for the majority of the season. Aldridge added that the goal is for Sanders to be ready for the postseason.

Sanders, 28, spent his first five seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks, averaging 6.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game. His best season came in 2012-13, when he notched 9.8 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.8 blocks in 27.3 minutes per game. Sanders appeared to be on his way to being one of the better defensive centers in the league.

But a series of injuries, suspensions for marijuana use and off-court incidents led Sanders to walk away from the NBA and accept a buyout from the Bucks in February 2015. He later revealed in The Players' Tribune that he was dealing with anxiety and depression and stepped away from the game to focus on his mental health.

But two years later, he announced he would be returning to basketball:

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

Sanders offers the Cavaliers an intriguing player to add to their frontcourt rotation. While he's not much of an offensive threat, he's a strong rebounder who makes a major impact on the defensive end with his shot-blocking prowess. 

While he will absolutely face an adjustment period after skipping the entire 2015-16 season and appearing in just 50 total games in his last two seasons in the league, he should provide Cleveland with a nice rotational option off the bench.

It's hard to know if he'll ever return to the form he displayed in the 2012-13 campaign, but he's a relatively inexpensive gamble for the Cavaliers after Andrew Bogut suffered a fractured left tibia just seconds into his first appearance with the Wine and Gold.


You can follow Timothy Rapp on Twitter.