CLEVELAND — After a two year hiatus, former Milwaukee Bucks center Larry Sanders is back in the NBA as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Sanders left Milwaukee shortly after signing a four-year, $44 million contract in 2013. At the time, he cited a lack of passion for the game of basketball and also personal issues such as depression. The Bucks were forced to buy out his contract, agreeing to pay the former VCU star $1.9 million over the next seven seasons (through the 2021-2022 season). It appears he’ll still be paid by Milwaukee despite signing with Cleveland.
No details of the new Cavaliers contract were revealed, after initially being reported by Yahoo Sports! The Vertical. Sanders will likely have a contract option for the 2017-2018 season.
The Cavaliers had been searching for a replacement after Andrew Bogut suffered a fractured fibula upon making his debut with Cleveland this season. Sanders has been active on social media about his search for an NBA return, posting frequent photos and videos of himself in Cleveland and wearing team apparel.
By Eric Rogers
Feb. 9, 2016 10:36 a.m. CT
MILWAUKEE — About a year after accepting a buyout plan from the Milwaukee Bucks, Larry Sanders is considering a return to the NBA, but he hasn’t set a timeline.
After several drug-related suspensions and time off due to injury, the Bucks agreed to pay Sanders $1.8 million until 2022 to step away from the game of basketball. Sanders said at the time that he’d lost the love for the game and showed a lack of motivation.
At 27 years old, Sanders decided to leave the NBA to pursue “art, music, and other passions” off the court. He announced on Tuesday in an interview with The Vertical that he hoped to return to the league once his life stabilized.“I feel highly valuable on any team. There aren’t a lot of people who can bring my game to a team. I still play basketball all the time, staying in shape. I will need to make sure the situation is right for me.”
Sanders had his best year in 2012-13, posting averages of 9.8 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. That resulted in a $44 million extension with the Bucks.