While the Milwaukee Bucks lost guards Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis this offseason, they have just ensured their man in the middle is not going anywhere – at least not anytime soon. Larry Sanders signed a four-year, $44 million contract extension with incentives that can bring the deal up to $48 million.
“By combining his God-given ability with hard work and determination, Larry has developed into one of the top young defensive players in the league,” Bucks general manager John Hammond said in a news release. “He is a very important part of what we are doing in Milwaukee, and we’re excited to announce his contract extension.”
The 6-foot-11 center averaged career-highs last season, scoring 9.8 PPG and securing 9.5 RPG. The 15th overall selection in the 2010 NBA draft, averaged 2.8 BPG as well and developed into one of the premier defenders in the league. He placed seventh in the 2013 Defensive Player of the Year race.
The Bucks, who traded away Jennings and J.J. Redick and lost Ellis and Mike Dunleavy Jr. to free agency, are clearly in the midst of a rebuilding process. They have added Brandon Knight, O.J. Mayo, Zaza Pachuilia, Luke Ridnour and Carlos Delfino this offseason.
Milwaukee finished 38-44 last season before getting swept out of the first round of the playoffs by the Miami Heat. Teams in the Eastern Conference which have struggled in recent years such as the Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons and Washington Wizards all have the look of playoff teams for the 2013-14 season, so do not expect the young Bucks squad to be a top-8 team for the third time in the last five years.