The Cleveland Cavaliers have once again signed a big man to answer their interior depth question, but they went way outside of the box this time.
The shocking injury to Andrew Bogut just one minute into his Cavaliers career left Cleveland back at square one, but the team has finally made its move. The newest addition to the Cavaliers will be playoff eligible, giving them extra depth for an NBA Finals run.
The list of free agents left after the first rush of signings was thin, leaving Cleveland with only a few realistic options. It appears they went with a high-risk, high-reward signing that could pay off once playoff time comes around.
The Cavaliers have signed former Milwaukee Bucks big man Larry Sanders to a contract that likely includes an option for the '17-18 season, reports Shams Charania of The Vertical.
That's a huge signing for Cleveland, who are adding a player who was widely considered one of the best defensive centers in the entire league at his peak.
Why it's a gamble.
The Cavaliers are stable even if they need a little frontcourt help. LeBron James' return has brought the Cavaliers to the top of the NBA, with a team that knows how to fall into line behind their captain.
They've enjoyed back-to-back trips to the finals and are favorites to make it three in a row. Even with Kevin Love out for an extended time, the Cavaliers are so steady they'll still cruise right into the playoffs.
Sanders is an unknown in their locker room with a questionable history. He violated the NBA's drug policy four times due to testing positive for marijuana usage before he finally decided he needed to step away from the game of basketball to focus on bettering himself.
The last time he played an NBA game was on Dec. 23, 2014. It's been two years since he competed at the highest level, which is a huge layoff even if he's still just 28 years old.
But it's a good gamble
The Cavaliers are gambling a bit, but ultimately the payoff could be huge. If there's anywhere in the world an NBA player who has as shaky off-court history could flourish, it's under King James' reign.
Sanders has a golden opportunity in front of him, joining a team where he can make a significant impact if he can return to form. The Cavaliers don't need him to carry the team, only play his role as part of a much-larger machine.
If he plays his cards right, he could be an NBA champion in just a few short months.
Sanders was the best potential fit for Cleveland available, and he's likely going to be fighting to prove he deserves another chance in the NBA. The circumstances are just right for this to work out for the Cavaliers.
Even if it doesn't pan out in the Cavaliers' favor, they gave up absolutely nothing to roll the dice on Sanders. They were better served swinging for the fences with their final roster spot, and with the former defensive demon, they've done just that.
Do you think Larry Sanders can make a successful comeback with Cleveland, or is he washed up having not played for over two years? Let us know in the comments!