Cavs-Larry Sanders rumors have resurfaced following an Andrew Bogut injury update. In his first game for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Bogut suffered a broken leg, ruling him out for the rest of the NBA regular season. Now Cavs rumors are linking the team to available big men again, with center Larry Sanders at the top of the list. Not having played since the 2014-15 NBA season, Sanders may have turned into a last-gasp option for the Cavs, as the team is desperately trying to add more size during the absence of Kevin Love.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the Cleveland Cavaliers signed center Andrew Bogut as a free agent last week. The Philadelphia 76ers bought out his prior deal, making him available to any team that would have him. The Cavs offered him a contract at the veterans’ minimum, but also a chance to compete for an NBA championship. He took the deal and debuted on Monday night (March 6). Just 58 seconds into his time on the court, Bogut went to the ground and had to be helped off the court. That is when the bad news started to break.
This is where the Cavs-Larry Sanders rumors begin again. In five NBA seasons, Sanders averaged 19.8 minutes, 6.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks per game for the Milwaukee Bucks. A report by NBA.com indicated that the Cleveland Cavaliers met with Sanders right before the NBA trade deadline back on Feb. 22. With an open roster spot and the need to improve its frontcourt for the Eastern Conference Playoffs, team officials and Cavs coach Tyronn Lue met with the 6-foot-11 Sanders. No deal came to pass, and the Cavs resumed a quest to land Bogut.
When the Andrew Bogut injury update came back on Monday night, it revealed the worst possible news for the No. 1 seeded team in the East. X-rays at the arena showed that Bogut had a fractured left tibia, breaking the leg on a play against Okaro White of the Miami Heat early in the second half of Monday’s loss. Not only did the Cavaliers end up losing an important game in the hunt for the top playoff seed, the team also lost a player who was supposed to improve the Cavs on offense and defense in the low post.
A report by Bobby Marks at The Vertical mentioned that for the Cavs-Larry Sanders rumors to work out, the team could simply release Andrew Bogut to clear up an open roster spot. That would be rough news for Bogut to receive, but he would still earn his full salary from the team. It’s likely that insurance might cover part of it for the Cavaliers, but the important component would be that the team could then work up a contract for another playoff-eligible veteran. Sanders is a player who would fit under that description quite well.
A Larry Sanders contract would also be for the veterans’ minimum, which would be for slightly more than $300,000 for the remainder of the 2016-17 NBA regular season. Since Sanders isn’t under contract with any other franchises, that might come as a huge payday for him. He might not be the only big man that the Cavs pursue in the next few days, either, as several others are still available for a team to sign. If a player hasn’t been waived this season, then they are still playoff-eligible to a new club.
Jared Sullinger, Luis Scola, Omri Casspi, and Mike Scott could all be names that are also mentioned in the Cavs-Larry Sanders rumors. While all of these names would certainly improve the low post on defense for the Cleveland Cavaliers, it might not give the team the type of enforcer that Andrew Bogut would have been. Still, if Sanders can play anywhere close to his prior level in the league, then it’s possible he could provide the Cavs with an elite shot blocker on the defensive end of the court.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have a few days off before playing against the Detroit Pistons on Thursday night (March 9). That gives the front office some extra time to find another big man to add to the roster. It’s a short timeframe in the grand scheme of things, but it does allow the coaching staff to take a breath after finding out the news in the Andrew Bogut injury update. Now the only thing left is for the Larry Sanders rumors to finally lead to something and for the Cavs to pull the trigger on a short-term contract with the big man.
[Featured Image by Jason Miller/Getty Images]