Larry Sanders (VCU, Junior)
6'10, 240 lbs., Age 21, PF
A freak of nature athlete with a blend of great speed, hops, and freakishly long arms to be an intimidator on defense, Sanders came to VCU very raw able only to rebound and block everything in site due to his massive wing span.
One thing that projects well with Sanders is a healthy, nasty attitude and the toughness needed to play in the NBA. Consider he started playing basketball his sophomore year, his basketball IQ is a work in progress.
Offensively, he brings nothing to the table when in transition or set up for open dunks. He lacks the strength to post up in the NBA, but shows improving footwork. Though he's improved it, his Jump shot lacks normal lift and motion limiting it's effectiveness. His offensive comfort level improved with added weight and experience in his sophomore year, but he still lacks anything to make him a threat offensively at the NBA level. He requires an improved jumper or post moves to demand some defensive attention.
Defensively, Sanders is a beast. He disrupts passing lanes and deflects shots with his tremendous length and athleticism. His rebounding fundamentals improved each year as he gained experience. His potential to become a premier defender hinges on his ability to add strength to his body to go with his athleticism and instincts. Sanders disruptive defense helps teams, but his fundamentals could use work such as learning how to hedge pick-and-rolls rather than camping out in the lane.
How does his game translate to the NBA?
Right now, Sanders is a very raw project offensively that dominates in transition, attitude, and as a defensive intimidator in the lane. His long wing span, ability to run the floor, and speed should translate well to the NBA as long he is not paired with another post player with limited offensive skills. If Sanders adds a little muscle and a post move along with a short jumper, the sky is the limit. Right now, his game emulates Theo Ratliff during his prime with the ability to run the floor a little better.
He currently projects from late lottery until early 20's. His upside is unlimited and he should at least play in the league for a while solely based on shot-blocking.
How would he fit in with the Bulls?
With the Bulls already having Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson, he might not be a good fit. However, you can never have enough talented big guys and he will provide a presence wherever he goes. Unlike Patrick Patterson or a similar player, his shot-blocking is more of an asset to be used. He can at least be good trade bait if drafted.