Should the Celtics go after Larry Sanders?

Some NBA players have all the talent in the world, but lack the right mindset to get the best out of their abilities. Milwaukee Bucks Center Larry Sanders is the perfect example of this.

For his career Sanders has  per game averages of 11.8 points, 10.2 rebounds, and most impressively 2.4 blocks.

Sanders though hasn't played since December 23rd and Friday was suspended a minimum of 10 games by the NBA:

This is the second time, in his career, that Sanders has been suspended due to substance abuse. He missed five games last season after testing positive for marijuana.

The recent in run in with the league office for Sanders was preceded by reports that the had lost his desire to play basketball. Sanders had some head scratching quotes a few weeks ago regarding his basketball future:


Speaking before a loss to Phoenix on Jan. 6, Sanders didn't go into detail about the reason behind his absence.

"Without these things being corrected, I don't think basketball will be something I can even do," he said then.

He said it was false to speculate he might walk off the court for good.

"But what is true," he said, "is that I'm in the process of working things out now to do as best for my psyche and my physical health going forward. There's a lot of evaluating going on. There's a lot of inside talk just to put myself in the best place for my health right now.

Sanders has since denied the reports:

From Charles Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

“I figured with my absence that something was going to come out sooner than later. That’s not true. But what is true I would say is that I’m in the process of working things out now internally to do what’s best for my physique and my physical health going forward.

“There’s a lot of evaluating going on. There’s a lot of inside talk just to put myself in the best place for my health right now.”

As coach Jason Kidd has said repeatedly, there appears to be no timetable for his return.
“There’s not right now,” Sanders said. “I kind of go by recommendations, so I’m definitely keeping my ear to those who are close to me and see what they say is best for my health moving forward.”

As a Celtics fan, you know Danny Ainge is working the phone lines on a minute by minute basis inquiring about other players. Would he consider making a play for the fifth year center out of VCU?

Sanders talent, when he is on the basketball court, is obvious.

Is Sanders the rim protector Ainge has yearned for since he traded Kendrick Perkins?

At first glance the easy answer is yes. Just check out Sanders' block on Paul Pierce:

In 2012, Sanders had one of his best games as a pro, when he had 10 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 blocks against Minnesota:

But with all of the good that Sanders shows on the court, there are also numerous questions regarding where his head is at.

These are a few play, as an example, of Sanders making a dumb decision that was uncalled for:

Including getting ejected in Oklahoma City:

As well as a scary hard foul on Nicholas Batum:

This play is just comical as Sanders nearly shoots at the wrong basket:

Off the court Sanders has also had his fair share of problems, including a fight at a nightclub in 2013, which caused him to miss time due to a thumb injury.

If the Bucks are to shop Sanders around, it is likely Ainge will be one of their first calls. Ainge has never been scared to take chances on a known problem child.

Ainge though, would have to be weary of Sanders' injury history. Sanders hasn't played more than 71 games in a season, including only just 23 last year.

Sanders is in the first year of a four year, $44 million contract. 

Photo credit: Nelson Chenault/USA Today Sports

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