As the Los Angeles Lakers head towards the All-Star Break, the team is in a bit of flux. Head coach Luke Walton recently turned to a youth movement for the team, starting four young players with three seasons or less of NBA experience.
Even though they aren’t a playoff team this year, the team still is looking to improve and find any good players who can be a part of the team’s future and one interesting player is Larry Sanders. Sanders was a former first-round pick of the Milwaukee Bucks who left the NBA during the 2014-15 season due to personal reasons.
Recently it was announced that Sanders was looking to return to the NBA and according to Mike Bresnahan of Spectrum SportsNet, the Lakers met with Sanders:
Lakers are currently meeting with former NBA center Larry Sanders, who hasn't played in the league since December 2014. He is 28 years old.
— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) February 13, 2017
Sanders is definitely a talented player, but there are obvious questions surrounding his return to the league. At the time he left, Sanders spoke about dealing with anxiety, depression, and mood disorders so the Lakers would certainly want to make sure his head is in the right place.
The other question for the Lakers is that they are at the maximum of 15 players and would have to release someone to sign him. The Lakers are also crowded in the front court with Julius Randle, Tarik Black, Ivica Zubac, and Larry Nance Jr. all getting minutes up front.
Nonetheless, Sanders represents something that the Lakers don’t have on their team in a real rim protector. At his best, Sanders was one of the best rim protectors in the NBA, averaging 2.8 blocks per game in the 2012-13 season, good for second in the NBA.
For his career, Sanders has averaged 6.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks in 233 games, all with the Bucks.