Report: Bucks nearing extension with Larry Sanders

(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Sanders at the Team USA mini-camp in Vegas with Greg Monroe. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

Larry Sanders has kind of picked up the previously tossed aside torch of “face of the Milwaukee Bucks franchise” off the ground and sprinted back and forth between Milwaukee and Las Vegas with it this summer. The Bucks appreciate that. They appreciate the suddenly productive minutes he provided the team with last season too.

Those two factors are surely largely why the Bucks and Sanders appear to be nearing a contract extension well in advance of the October 31st extension deadline for members of the 2010 draft class. According to Marc Stein:

The Milwaukee Bucks are in advanced discussions on a contract extension with forward Larry Sanders, according to sources close to the process.

Oct. 31 is the deadline for extensions for members of Sanders’ 2010 draft class, but sources told this week that negotiations on a new deal for one of Milwaukee’s new cornerstones have already reached the final stages.

Stein goes on to indicate “Sanders is expected to receive an extension with an annual salary in excess of $10 million.” That’s a pretty major development for a player many expected off the Bucks roster in a year or two last October, but Sanders had a pretty big season. The 6-foot-11 center/forward finished second in blocks per game last season, first in block percentage, seventh in defensive player of the year voting last year and was the darling of the Sloan Sports Analytical Conference.

In just 27.3 minutes per game, Sanders averaged 9.8 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game. Despite an offensive repertoire that consists of pretty much one move, the dunk, Sanders transformed into an impact player last season. That’s how good he was on defense.

John Hammond passionately declared that the Bucks are going young, not tanking, during the introductory press conference for newly acquired Bucks Brandon Knight and Khris Middleton Tuesday morning and Sanders seems to be at the forefront of the youth movement.

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  1. This is a great move for the Bucks. If we want Larry, don’t waffle around — go for it! I think it’s fair to say that just about everyone who roots for the Bucks really, really wants Larry. As Sillybilly wrote, hope the deal isn’t too much above 10M, but Larry and John Henson are two potential stars that we can hardly afford not to keep. It’s always scary to invest so much in one player, but the reality of the NBA is calculated risks. If Larry and John are truly giving off good vibes about wanting to be in Milwaukee and make the Bucks into a winner, then this is the way to go.
    One thing about Larry is that I see a lot of potential on offense, hitting 15-foot jumpers as well as putting the ball on the floor once or twice for drives to the hoop and little bank shots.
    Last thing: Larry was drafted at #15 and John at #14. To read some of the past comments on this blog, one would think that draft picks this late were practically useless, that it’s almost impossible to find outstanding players at that point, or even solid ones. One might think that a team might as well do something ridiculously risky like drafting a phantom phenom from a faraway country, a gangly Greek ghost on grainy film, a trendy rumor chosen sight unseen.
    I do sincerely hope that Giannis does become a superstar, but far-out, funky, futuristic picks like he is should be reserved for the second round.

    • A good point about draft picks. I do think, though, that there was a lot less talent in this draft than in previous ones, so I was okay with them drafting ‘Po. Just a question (and really not meant as derisive or downbeating, honest curiosity)… who, besides Schroeder, would you have rather the Bucks picked in the situation they had? I personally didn’t think there was a whole heck of a lot of truly good talent left on the board at that point. Again, just curious.

      • Based on an article for Bucksketball on June 26, just before the draft, by Jon Hartzell — which listed eight potential draft picks for the Bucks at #15, none of them Giannis, and two of them already taken on draft night — my choice would have been Shane Larkin to get a point guard, or possibly Jamaal Franklin. It’s not that I know these eight guys, but I didn’t know Larry or John, either, or Tobias Harris (another #15). My point of emphasis is that when there’s an opportunity to get one of the top 15 young basketball players in the world, then that pick should really be treasured. Sure, all of the guys that were available to the Bucks were risks, but to me Giannis is maybe ten times riskier.
        Here’s the thing about Giannis: I don’t recall reading at this site that John Hammond seriously scouted this guy, that he sent his most trusted advisor to Greece for six months to get to know Giannis — to attend his games, watch his practices, talk to his coaches, eat with his family, play with his dog, hang out with his friends at the malt shop, sneak peeks into his diary… whatever. Maybe something like this did happen, maybe I missed it, and maybe I would be feeling at least a little bit better. However, I still think the 2nd round of the draft is the place for these wild and fun picks with a chance at spectacular returns. Having said all this, I still truly hope we are fortunate and that Giannis excels in the NBA, and does so for the Bucks.

  2. happyfeethustle

    Hmmmm…good food for thought Sfisch. Sanders,Henson great draft picks-can anyone really find anything poor about those picks? I believe that Hammond is sincere in this YOUTH movement while remaining above water in the win column. Larry is now definitely the Bucks franchise-and could very well be joined by Knight in a season. Very pleased that Hammond is “showing” Larry his worth-not just lip service!!!!!!!!! Get him locked in and hopefully Henson blossoms out sooner rather than later.
    I personally like the GA 1st round selection, i guess im an optimist.


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