With Andrew Bogut breaking his tibia and his time in Cleveland likely at an end after one game, the Cavaliers likely will look to sign someone new in the coming days. The team could elect to sign a guard or wing, but it seems more likely that they’ll replace an injured big with a healthy one. The team is also on the hook for Bogut’s salary regardless, so cutting him would at least let the Cavs add a healthy body.
Here are three players the team could sign.
Sanders recently worked out with the Cavs and the team seemed impressed by his talent despite his two-year absence. Of the bigs available, he’s the one the team has worked out and they likely have a good idea of how much he could contribute. Part of the reason the team elected to sign Bogut over him was that Bogut had played in the NBA in the last two years.
Sanders, 28, likely has some upside and even if he’s not ready to contribute right now, Cleveland could develop him into something for next year. But is that what the Cavs want? Would they be comfortable taking on Sanders, his baggage alongside being away from the game for two years? There’s really only one way to find out.
Moreland, 25, was with the Cavs during training camp and is currently starring for the Canton Charge. D-League maven Chris Reichert has him fourth in his weekly D-League prospect rankings and for good reason. Moreland was a D-League All-Star this year and has been the Charge’s best player overall aside from Quinn Cook. Cook ultimately signed a 10-day deal with the Dallas Mavericks. He also has NBA experience, having spent time with the Sacramento Kings for two seasons.
Moreland currently leads the D-League in rebounds per game and he’s fourth in blocks per game. He’s not a good shooter - his 40.6 percent shooting from the line is proof - ad he’s dealt with a number of injuries in the past. But think of him as fitting the Derrick Williams mold: he’s young, has played recently and is athletic. It’s not hard to envision him eating up minutes for the Cavs as Kevin Love works his way back.
Recently cut by the Phoenix Suns after being traded by the Toronto Raptors, Sullinger recently drew interest from the Miami Heat. But the Heat passed and the Celtics loom as a potential suitor. Because he was waived by Phoenix before March 1, he is playoff eligible.
The big knock against Sullinger is that he’s never been in particularly good shape and spent time with Raptors 905 this year in an effort to improve his conditioning. But he is 25, has good hands and is a good rebounder who can play backup center. He’s not nearly the defender or rim protector Bogut is. But if he’s in shape, he could help fill minutes. And there’d be the added bonus of keeping the Celtics from nabbing a useful rebounder.
Other big men available: Raptors 905 center Edy Tavares, Sioux Falls Skyforce center Keith Benson, free agent center Chris Kaman, free agent center Kendrick Perkins, free agent center Anderson Varejao, Fort Wayne Mad Ants forward Tyler Hansbrough