Larry Sanders draft profile

sanders.jpg

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. 

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  • I think he is a good player but I am not bg at all on us drafting a big in this draft, Most of them dont impress me since we dont need anymore projects, and we dont need to draft anyone offensivly challenged. However, defense is always a good asset and trading Tyrus did hurt our low post defense. Personally, I think there are better bigs for us to draft if we went that route, but I hope we dont and dont expect us to.

    If All three of George, Henry and Anderson are gone, I think we may go BPA which could be a big. IDK if its what we will do but we will see. Im really pulling for George no matter who is left.

  • In reply to 1096ballenf:

    One thing about Tyrus was that he tried to be something on offense that he was not. This guy is a little taller, and has a nasty tude that I like. Offensively he is raw, but I don't think he tries to force it like Tyrus did.

  • In reply to kevinstates:

    The thing about this draft is that all the bigs are projects. I doubt we find a Taj if we went that route which I hope we dont.

    Unless the big is a defensive anchor with size, and only if all the three guards are gone, do I consider them. I am just really not impressed with these bigs in the end of the draft. At least we knew what we would have had in Blair. I doubt any of these guys can garuantee us what he did.

  • In reply to 1096ballenf:

    For the most part, I agree. But there are three guys projected to the first round who should be ready to come in and contribute in all facets: Aldrich, Udoh, and Alabi. Of those, Alabi should definitely be available at 17, and Udoh may be. Everyone else may be able to come in and block some shots, give some rebounding, or score a few points. But very few can do more than one at the next level at this point, and some will really be nothing but a roster hold for their first year.

  • In reply to msalivar:

    I have seen Alabi and he is really a work in progress. If we take him, knowing we already have a project this season in Asik, then I will be highly dissapointed.

    Udoh has skills that could be benefitial but Wont be as effective for what we need since he cant score and our defense is already pretty good. He could be a help off the bench yes but wont be anything groundbreaking.

    Aldrich is going no where near us so dont even mention him.lol

    The only big that I would take who may fall and still consider this draft a success is Motiejunas. that kind of talent cant be passed on and the fact that some mocks have him going as low as 14 or even 15, gives me hope that he may be this years collison who falls to us. My only wonder is will the bulls take him if he does. Will we even work him out? Just a thought.

  • In reply to 1096ballenf:

    Udoh has offensive skills and can shoot midrange already!

  • In reply to kevinstates:

    His offense is the worst part of his game. He is very inconsistent and has a very raw post game.

  • In reply to 1096ballenf:

    I think you're definitely not giving him enough credit. He isn't always as aggressive as he should be, but he can score in a lot of ways. Back to the basket, or facing it. He can put the ball down and either drive or pull up for a jumper. He's a very good passer, and his shooting range is getting deeper. With an NBA shooting coach he should become solid from 18 to 20 feet. I see his post game getting much better if he becomes more willing to take contact.

    His offensive game, like his game overall, is sort of a jack of all, master of none.

    I think he's Taj with more athleticism giving him a higher ceiling.

  • In reply to kevinstates:

    Lebron called Derrick Rose after the Cavs got eliminated!!

  • Misprint? You say he provides nothing in transition or when set up for open dunks. Then you go on to say he dominates in transition. I'm guessing you forgot a "except" in there.

  • In reply to mucha819:

    Yes sir, sorry. He is good in transition and setting up transition w/ blocks! Thanks!

  • This kid can play.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0t3iKQCkzY

    I actually like him alot. I have seen some of his games at VCU. However, as I said before I think it would be best if the Bulls' management drafted a Shooting Guard.

    The prospects, whether guards or bigs, that will be on the board at #17 seem pretty equal in talent.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Mr. Happy,

    I agree that the Bulls need a shooting guard. However, if there is someone that is more talented and can provide something that is not at a key position such as Rose at Point Guard or Center w/ Noah. To me, our two weakest spots are shooting guard and power forward. I fill that you can find shooting guards that can play defense in trades or free agency too. That is why I am set on taking the best player and if it happens to be a shooting guard, than so be it. I do not think that many shooting guards outside of George (provide what is out there this summer), at our pick is worth risking over other players to be drafted.

  • In reply to kevinstates:

    Kevin,

    But honestly, don't the BIGS and SG's who are projected to be on the board at #17 look about the same in talent?

    All the guys you profiled, so far, seem pretty equal.

    Plus, with this free-ageny class being so PF-HEAVY and the DRAFT filled with some nice looking SG's, I would think drafting a SG and signing a PF is the way to go.

    By the way, you are doing a nice job with your profiles.

    Feedback?

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Thanks bro. Actually, this draft is extremely deep. A Larry Sanders, Ekpe Udoh, and Paul George have a chance to be better than a shooter only in Anderson and Henry. Sanders can impact the game just on blocking, rebounding, and setting up transition. He still is somewhat raw and new to the game, so offensively, to show a little improvement on the jump shot but be more of a paint guy. Henry is no better than what is out there as a SG; for example Reddick, Allen, Raja Bell are all better than Henry will be! If you were to draft a guy like George who can play 2g and play defense, than I would rather have that.

    Also, there are always sleepers out there. There are the Al Thornton's, Danny Granger's, Tayshaun Prince's, Carlos Boozer's that always find their ways. In one of the deepest drafts in terms of finding quality, I think you have to do in-depth scouting. Typically there is nothing wrong with drafting a Henry or Anderson out there, but you could be getting a better player that fits a need. Who is to say you draft a great PF as a steal such as Udoh; you can't trade a Taj Gibson to get a player such as Anderson or Al Thornton!

  • In reply to kevinstates:

    Kevin,

    FYI:

    I just found out that the Bulls' management has asked LAZAR HAYWARD to come in for a draft workout. He could be one of those SLEEPERS, much like WES MATTHEWS last year.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Yeah, he could be a solid second round sleeper, but I don't know if he has the ability to play wing skills at 6-7.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Naww ill pass on Larry Sanders....Bulls need a guy thats ready or a big SG. My favorites are Henry and George. I would love to have either one of them. George came out and said he would want to play the SG position at the NBA. That would be great because his size and length could really help out the perimeter. He also said, he feels he plays like TMac did back in the day.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    JAMES JOHNSON GOT INTO A FIGHT? (the follow up)

    The Original account of the incident:

    James Johnson---Not a Class Act
    posted at 5/14/2010 5:47 PM CDT on Bulls Connect

    fanboy2000
    Posts: 2
    First: 5/14/2010
    Last: 5/15/2010 So nice to see James Johnson showing up at a high school today and jumping out of his land rover to try and fight a high school kid and having to be asked to leave by police officers and administrators. Class Act. Why would he want to re-visit his old high school, after all it only took him 'til he was 20 to finally graduate from there---you'd think he'd never want to go back.

    The Eye-Witness Account of the incident:

    Re: James Johnson---Not a Class Act
    posted at 5/15/2010 8:03 PM CDT on Bulls Connect

    fanboy2000
    Posts: 2
    First: 5/14/2010
    Last: 5/15/2010 This is a first-hand account. I had business at the school and saw this happen. I was hoping James would finally grow up and utiilize his talents and realize acting a fool is ridiculous, but apparently he is still the immature young man he left as. It would be nice to be proud of a hometown boy who made it in the NBA and have a role-model for our kids here, its just not going to be in James. It was nice to show the country that we're just not some hick town where only cowboys roam and where the largest outdoor rodeo in the US is held---but I'd rather that reputation than being known for producing an immature NBA player who thinks he needs to prove himself by threatening to beat up a high school kid.

    * It sounds pretty convincing. I asked this guy for a photo or video, if he has one.

    Stay tuned.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Why on earth are you talking so much about James Johnson? Who cares about James Johnson? If he pans out.... great! If not... file that one to the law of averages. Non-lottery picks aren't likely to be great impact players. If you wanted to bag on a wasted pick so much, you had Tyrus, Tyson, Eddy, and Jay Williams. They were all selected higher than your boy James Johnson. You could even complain about the one's that got away like Elton, Artest, Crawford, and Ben Gordan. These were talents that got away with minimal or no return.

    Your mission to expose James Johnson is both tired and predictable. We're looking at Lebron, Wade, Bosh, and the greatest free agent class ever. You're talking about James Johnson. We're analyzing draft picks. You're talking about James Johnson. If we scored Lebron, Wade, and Bosh to go with Rose and Noah. You'd talk about how we need to trade Johnson for Nick Young. What is your boggle? Oops, my bad. Let me ask in a way you can understand. What is your BOGGLE?

  • In reply to kbar17:

    It's newsworthy if James Johnson got into a FIGHT and the police were involved.

    That's why.

  • In reply to kevinstates:

    DOUG,

    HELP!!!

    I need some clarification.

    I saw this story on RealGm. The wording is a bit confusing.

    (RUDY GAY)

    The Grizzlies could look to complete a sign-and-trade involving restricted free agent forward Rudy Gay if they don't re-sign him outright.

    {Teams can discuss sign-and-trade scenarios prior to July 1, when the free agent signing period begins, as long as discussions don't include the player(s) involved.}

    Memphis hasn't discussed any scenarios, but a sign-and-trade remains an option, according to the Commercial Appeal.

    * I don't understand the {bracketed} part. The Rudy Gay part is irrelevant to me.

    How can teams discuss trade scenarios without discussing the players they want involved?

  • In reply to kevinstates:

    Or does it simply mean that players can't physically be there while the discussions are going on?

  • In reply to kevinstates:

    Kevin,

    The Bulls have NEEDS to fill and they have to fill them.

    They need to throw the BEST AVAILABLE theory out the window.

    Besides, everyone projected to be around at #17 seems fairly equal.

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