The Warriors have two available spots on their roster, and with center Andrew Bogut gone to Dallas they’d like to fill one of them with a rim-protecting big man.
Larry Sanders, formerly of the Milwaukee Bucks, would fit such a profile. Away from the NBA since December 2014, the 6-foot-11 center is weighing a comeback, according to multiple reports. And he seems interested in joining the Warriors.
But the Warriors, as of Sunday afternoon, had not engaged in discussion of Sanders, a member of the front office indicated to CSNBayArea.com.
Sanders, however, was transparent about his thoughts in a pair of uncaptioned photograph Tweets posted Saturday. The first was lifted from the classic 1979 film “The Warriors,” a movie about street gangs in New York City. The second, posted 48 minutes later, was of a Cavalier, as in Cleveland.
That was enough to start the speculation that something might be in the works.
Meanwhile, in Las Vegas, ESPN analyst Tom Penn during the telecast of the Warriors- Spurs Summer League game Saturday night that said he was told by Warriors executive Jerry West that the team would be adding “another pretty good player” to the roster.
Though the Ray Allen speculation continues to swirl, justifiably, even though he turns 41 on July 20, Sanders also would qualify.
Before stepping away from the NBA 20 months ago to confront mental health matters, he had established himself as perhaps the league’s best paint defender, rebounding and blocking shots with equal aplomb. In his best season, 2012-13, Sanders averaged 9.8 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.83 blocks per game.
That prompted the Bucks to sign Sanders to a contract worth $44 million over four seasons. He received a buyout upon requesting his release.
Bringing Sanders, 27, to the Warriors on a minimum contract would come with considerable risk in such a generally stable, loose and positive locker room. In addition to the mental health challenges, for which he sought treatment, he has been suspended twice for violating the league’s anti-drug policy.
Is Sanders, if he receives a clean bill of physical and mental health, a risk worth a look? Maybe.
Though the Warriors might be intrigued by his defensive ability, they tend to avoid players who come with baggage or questionable desire.