Cavaliers signee Larry Sanders may not be ready for game action, but a highlight video shared by the NBA D-League’s Twitter account shows that he can still demonstrate flashes of his former self.
Sanders stat line in this game was nothing particularly amazing. He scored 10 points, grabbed nine boards and blocked three shots in 25 minutes. His long-running propensity for fouling remains, as he’s averaged three fouls in just 20 minutes per game thus far.
That said, he looked pretty alright. He still has that unbelievable length and was able to blast a couple shots both when switched onto a guard or as a help defender. On the offensive end, his role with the main roster won’t be too different from Tristan Thompson’s - get offensive boards, roll hard to the rim, and make easy putbacks. He’s obviously not expected to be a TT-quality player, but he shows that he can at least approximate that role at the D-League level.
Basically, he looks fine. Plenty of players look really, really good at the D-League level that aren’t NBA-quality players, because the NBA is a profoundly hard league to play in.
For the Cavaliers, it’s a perfect use of the D-League, and one hopes that they’ll continue to employee it creatively when two-way contracts are added in the next CBA. It’s encouraging to see Sanders getting back into the swing of things, and hopefully he can at least approximate the player he once was for the Cavaliers down the line.