New York Knicks Should Welcome Larry Sanders 2
Rick Scuteri, USATI

Larry Sanders is treading the waters of an NBA comeback. The New York Knicks should part the waters and embrace him.

The potential return of former star players Ray Allen, Larry Sanders, Stephen Jackson, Rip Hamilton, Ben Gordon, Baron Davis, and former New York Knicks head coach Derek Fisher has renewed interest in the always popular story of the NBA comeback.

However, other than Ray Allen, only Larry Sanders truly excites the blood in my veins, as the possibility of a defensive anchor coming off the bench – which is something that New York Knicks direly need.

Larry Sanders teased the NBA world of a possible NBA comeback with two generally non-subtle tweets.

One was picture of a Cavalier, the other was a picture from the movie “Warriors.”

I assumed the Golden State Warriors were going to jump at the chance to get the 27-year-old former center known for his rim protecting abilities, after trading Andrew Bogut in order to have cap space for the Durant signing.

However, according to sources, the team “looked into Sanders as a possible signing, but decided against it.”

Sanders then posted two polls curiously asking the fans what teams they believe will “best utilize” his skills. Among the list of large market teams sat the Knicks with a dismal 18 percent voted by the fans.

It’s true that New York doesn’t necessarily have an open starting spot for Sanders like the Boston Celtics (if Al Horford plays PF) and the Warriors (better option defensively than Zaza Pachulia) may have.

But due to the newly acquired Joakim Noah, Sanders should readily accept a bench role as he hasn’t competed at a high level of basketball since February 2015.

This early retirement was due to personal reasons concerning depressions, anxiety, mood disorders and more famously, his marijuana usage.

Sanders has apparently been training regularly and is serious about a comeback, not caring for a large payday either.

According to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders, “Larry is not looking for crazy money, in fact I think he’d play for the minimum, so everyone is possible.”

If this is true and the Warriors, among others, are dumb enough to let him slide, Phil Jackson has to call up Sanders and offer him at least a training camp spot in order to see if he can still hold his own in the league.

Due to the Knicks not having much left remaining in their salary cap, this pickup could be one of the only cheap, yet positive move (disregarding a Lance Stephenson pickup) they have remaining, largely due to the immediate need of rim protection off the bench.

The new signing of stashed draft pick Willy Hernangomez is a great one, as he is young and raw with a lot of potential. However, his defense and shot contesting isn’t one of his strong suits.

The Knicks – as of recent times – have been a poor defensive minded team, though that is slowly changing with Noah and Kristaps Porzingis now protecting the paint.

Which hopefully will bring back memories of Charles Oakley and Patrick Ewing in the Golden Era of basketball.

The bench of the Knicks still needs that defensive help, and the low money gamble on an anchor in Sanders is low risk with a relatively high reward.

He feels confident and ready to step back onto the court, as his retirement problems are apparently back in check.

And New York – where sporting dreams are made of – should trust and acknowledge this.

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