Green Target: Larry Sanders

Larry Sanders is a talented guy, but has a lot of red flags from his infamous 2013-14 season. Sanders missed the majority of last year with a torn hand ligament stemming from a bar fight, a league suspension for marijuana, and a broken bone near his eye. Is he the perfect buy-low guy for the Boston Celtics?

How the Celtics could get him:

Sanders is still under contract with the Bucks, he signed a 4-year, $44 million extension back in August 2013. However, Sanders was easily one of the most available players last season as the Bucks were getting in on Tank-a-Palooza, and had soured on him due to the many extenuating circumstances surrounding him. The only way the C’s could land Sanders would be via trade.

Option 1: Paul Pierce Trade Exception

The Bucks have an outside chance of landing Joel Embiid with the #2 pick in the upcoming draft, which would greatly help the Celtics in landing Sanders. With drafting Embiid so high they would be hitching their wagon to him becoming the Center-of-the-Future and leaving minimal minutes for Sanders. Also never mind the fact that you can’t pay a back up big man $11 million dollars a year, you just can’t.

This situation should also help lowering the asking price for Sanders, potentially even just for the $10 million trade exception from the Pierce to Brooklyn trade. The Pierce trade exception acts as a salary stand in for trades and lasts one year from when the original trade was completed, so this could be the perfect post-draft trade scenario.

Option 2: Jeff Green for Larry Sanders

This trade could end up being made if the above situation happens as well, just that the Bucks want a player instead of ridding themselves of Sanders’ contract. Green and Sanders’ salaries are close enough that they would be the main headliners; we would also need to potentially include the Courtney Lee trade exception of $2 million in order to complete this.

Option 3: Brandon Bass and the Keith Bogans Bogus Contract (Unlikely)

Contracts matchup, Bucks receive Brandon Bass and Bogans nonguaranteed salary. They would most likely waive Bogans contract immediately after this happening. Bass could have some value for the young Bucks, offering a skilled veteran forward. However, this trade would be based on the C’s not including either player in the potential Kevin Love deal.

Pros of landing Larry:
  • Arguably best defensive big-man and rim-protector
  • Only 25 years old
  • Acquiring price really low
  • Would fit perfectly next to Sully or Love
Cons of landing Larry:
  • Raw offensively
  • Knucklehead
  • Doesn’t regain elite defensive prowess
  • High salary

The Verdict:

I need Larry and I needed him yesterday. Regardless of how the Love situation turns out we need this guy. With Love you need a defensive guy to play next to him and protect the rim, with Sully you need a defensive guy to play next to him and protect the rim – so just do it! Danny Ainge should channel his inner Bill Belichick and buy low on a potentially elite defensive big-man. The only downside is his salary figure is kind of high, but for what Mike Dyer and I agree is arguably the best defensive player in the league… its worth it.

Follow me on Twitter: @MattyMackay