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Larry Sanders could join the Mavericks (but probably won't)

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There's some mutual interest, but it's a long shot.

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Larry Sanders may soon be a free agent when the Bucks finalize a buy out agreement, and the Mavericks have "cautious" interest, according to ESPN Dallas' Tim MacMahon.

It's easy to see why. Dallas has been desperate for big man depth and even after signing Amar'e Stoudemire would love to add a solid center behind Tyson Chandler. Two years ago, Sanders was one of the best centers in the league, earning the moniker LARRY SANDERS! for his constant play making ability. His career has tumbled since then because of injuries, suspensions and a general disinterest in playing basketball.

Here's what would have to happen for Sanders to become a Maverick.

1. Sanders and the Bucks must reach a buy out

Sanders is in the second year of a four year, $44 million contract, and so it says something that Milwaukee is willing to stomach some of that money just to be free of the hassle of dealing with him. Reports indicate that this will happen soon.

2. Sanders has to *want* to play basketball

Without going into details (because we really don't have any), Sanders is dealing with personal issues. When he was suspended from the Bucks, it came out that he really wasn't interested in playing NBA basketball. If he doesn't want to, that's totally fine and his choice, just like any other person working any other job decided he doesn't want to work that job anymore.

3. Dallas has to be convinced he's ready to play

Even if Sanders is interested in playing NBA ball, he will have to convince the Mavericks he's serious about this and won't be a problem at any point going forward this season. This is about much more than talent, because Sanders' is obvious. It's about whether he fits in the locker room.

4. Monta Ellis has to be okay with bringing him in

The two reportedly nearly came to blows in their second-to-last game together in Milwaukee, a Game 3 loss to Miami in 2013. The Mavericks would not sign Sanders if Ellis wouldn't approve the signing, per MacMahon, and that makes total sense. One is the team's leading scorer and the other is a guy who might maybe help off the bench in a limited role.

5. Sanders has to pick Dallas

If he does get bought out and does decide to play basketball, and if Dallas and Ellis are ready to bring him in, Sanders still must decide Dallas is the best opportunity to revive his NBA career. The Mavericks definitely will not be the only team interested in signing the belabored center, because the upside is clearly there with the risk.

In conclusion

Sanders in Dallas is worth putting on your radar but it's a long shot at best. It's a complicated situation for both parties, and everything must align perfectly it to work out.