The Cavaliers' search for bench help could take an interesting turn

February 22, 2017

The Cleveland Cavaliers’ never-ending search for bench depth in an effort to defend their NBA title has taken an interesting turn toward a player who walked away from the game in his prime two years ago.

Larry Sanders, who had more than three years and $33 million left on a four-year, $44 million contract with the Milwaukee Bucks when that team bought him out of his contract in February 2015, is meeting with the Cavaliers on Wednesday, according to

Sanders, 28, worked his way from 2010 15th overall pick to starting center for the Bucks and nearly averaged a double-double in 2012-13 (9.8 points, 9.5 rebounds with 2.8 blocks). That led to the big contract, but injuries, a bar fight that led to another injury, and two suspensions for violating the league’s anti-drug policy -- he has publicly advocated the benefits of marijuana use -- limited him to only 50 games in the next two seasons before he said he lost his love for basketball and the Bucks eventually bought him out.


Sanders was a fierce rebounder and shot blocker when he was at his best, but reported that the Cavaliers will not be working him out Wednesday. He reportedly was treated for depression in 2015, and announced last month that he wanted to return to the NBA. The first step likely is determining whether Sanders has regained his passion for the game.

If he has, he could be the best available solution for the open roster spot the team is trying to fill if it doesn’t make a move ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline.