By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Larry Sanders is ready to return to the NBA.
It’s been almost two years since the former Bucks big man played in an NBA game, when he left a hefty contract with Milwaukee to deal with anxiety issues. He announced over Twitter on Thursday that he’s ready to return to the floor.
Sanders, 28, should draw plenty of interest from NBA teams in need of some help down low, and it should come as no surprise that the Boston Celtics have already given him a look:
Smith added in an article on Celticsblog.com that the workout “went well” and both sides agreed to stay in touch.
The 6-foot-11 Sanders made name for himself on the defensive end of the floor as one of the best rim protectors, averaging 1.8 blocks over his career and blocking 2.8 shots per game in his last healthy season in 2012-13. He battled injuries and personal issues that caused him to play in just 50 games over his last two seasons, which led to a significant drop in production.
For his five-year career, Sanders averaged 6.5 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. He put up career-highs with 9.8 points and 9.6 rebounds in just 27.3 minutes over 71 games in 2012-13.
While nothing with the Celtics is imminent, the fit certainly makes sense. Boston desperately needs a rebounding center to play alongside Al Horford and a rim protector to help their inconsistent defense. Sanders would fit both of those needs, especially if he can return to his 2012-13 form.
The Celtics have a logjam in the frontcourt, with Amir Johnson, Kelly Olynyk, Tyler Zeller and Jonas Jerebko, and currently have 15 players on their roster. But they should be able to clear a roster spot if they think Sanders can fill their areas of need and help them down the stretch run. He could be a great mid-season acquisition that doesn’t cost Danny Ainge anything from his treasure trove of assets.