The defending NBA champions have been busy recently, adding a few new names to their roster. Cleveland has added Deron Williams, Derrick Williams, and with the quick exit by Andrew Bogut, they have also signed Larry Sanders.
Sanders, 28, will reportedly spend the remainder of the season in Canton, with Cleveland’s D-League affiliate. This will allow Sanders to acclimate once again to playing multiple games in a week.
Sanders has been out of basketball entirely since early 2015 to focus on his personal health and well being. Now, two years later, he is a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers, a team that is attempting to defend their NBA championship. Not a bad place to get a second chance.
Before taking a break from his basketball career, Sanders was a strong defensive player, averaging 1.8 blocks per game. For Cleveland, if Sanders can bring energy and protect the rim, he will be worth the signing, considering Cleveland is near the bottom of the league in defensive efficiency. There’s not a whole lot that can be expected from a guy that hasn’t played at the highest level of basketball in over two years, but playing hard on the defensive end doesn’t take a lot of technical skill. If Cleveland wants to repeat they have to be better defensively, and they are hoping for Larry Sanders to provide assistance.
The Cavs currently sit atop the Eastern Conference at 43-22, two games ahead of the Celtics. Whether or not the Cavaliers will defend their title remains to be seen, but JR Smith is back in the lineup, Kevin Love’s rehab is going well, and they have that guy LeBron James. Although the Cavs have struggled in recent weeks, the Larry O’Brien trophy still runs through Cleveland.