Former Milwaukee Bucks big man Larry Sanders has been out of the NBA since 2014-2015 and, unlike most “retired” professional basketball players, it was his decision. The talented center left millions of dollars on the table to walk away in the midst of a $44 million contract with the Bucks. But on Thursday evening, Sanders announced on Twitter that he was ready to make a comeback.
Sanders was good enough at his peak to command an eight-figure annual salary and his defensive talents were quite tantalizing. Now, at the age of 28, Sanders is theoretically young enough to make a real impact once he gets into playing shape and at least one suitor might be in the mix in the form of the Boston Celtics.
As noted above, there is no indication that a deal with Boston will be happening immediately, but the fit is an interesting one. During Sanders’ best season in Milwaukee, he averaged 9.8 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game while playing fewer than 30 minutes a night. For a Celtics team that is in desperate need of an infusion on the glass and a solid locker room around him, the pairing makes a ton of sense, at least on paper.
Larry Sanders coming back to the NBA is interesting on a number of levels, including the fact that he has been a public advocate of mental health and wellness during and after his first stint in the league. It remains to be seen just where he’ll land and how soon that will happen, but it would be a lot of fun to see him on the court again.