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Report: A year ago, some Bucks officials wanted to cut Larry Sanders

Aug 29, 2013, 12:22 AM EDT

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There are issues with the Bucks signing Larry Sanders to a long-term, four-year, $44 million contract extension, but overall it’s probably not a terrible decision.

Sanders has been accused of mailing it in at times, and was among the leaders in technical fouls last season, tying for third with Blake Griffin and Carmelo Anthony, and finishing behind only DeMarcus Cousins and Russell Westbrook for the most in the league.

But Sanders is talented, and the price paid for a player possessing his skill set is anything but outrageous. It’s the going rate, in fact, but there was a time very recently when the team’s management wasn’t convinced that Sanders should be the future face of the franchise.

From Gery Woelful of the Racine Journal Times:

Larry Sanders ascent to being Bucks’ highest paid player is remarkable. A yr ago some Bucks officials wanted to cut him.

That’s a bold statement, considering that Sanders is now on the books for guaranteed money longer than any other player on the Milwaukee roster.

But to be honest, the Bucks didn’t have much of a choice.

NBA teams can’t continually attempt to rebuild, and at some point they need to establish credibility by retaining the players that give a star-level effort who are already in place.

The Bucks saw Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings leave this summer, and Sanders was the only one left who the team could legitimately attempt to build around.

Sanders has the inherent ability, and if he truly is able to fix his problem with the officials, Milwaukee has a special player in place. It’s crazy that front office personnel were ready to bail on him as recently as last summer, but unfortunately, that’s the nature of the business.

  1. fm31970 - Aug 29, 2013 at 12:40 AM

    Two Bucks posts, back to back on PBT? Nice.

  2. money2long - Aug 29, 2013 at 1:28 AM

    something tells me i doubt they would’ve just flat out cut him. definitely cut ties in a potential trade though.

  3. antihypocritz - Aug 29, 2013 at 5:30 AM

    Probably the biggest improvement that Sanders’ made last season was cutting down the rate of fouls.

    Look at his game log, he was a whistle generating machine in November. And in 2011-2012 he averaged 7.4 fouls per 36 minutes!

  4. cmart0907 - Aug 29, 2013 at 6:01 AM

    This kid has some potential!! But, have only one good season is not worth 11mil a yr. Kind of ironic that Rondo makes the same amount. His contract should be about 4yr / 32.

    • spursareold - Aug 29, 2013 at 10:13 AM

      Bigs always get overpaid. It’s like a rule, or something.

  5. thomaskouns - Aug 29, 2013 at 8:02 AM

    Always be skeptical of players who suddenly and mysteriously have breakout seasons right before their up for a new contract.

    I’ve seen too many of these scenarios turn out very badly for,the team not to be wary if Sanders will return to his ‘old ways’ now that he has guaranteed money.

  6. saint1997 - Aug 29, 2013 at 9:13 AM

    Bucks will be the next team to get a disgruntled superstar – trading their bevy of B grade players to pair a star with Sanders and Knight/Mayo

  7. boscoesworld - Aug 29, 2013 at 10:07 AM

    Would this Bucks officials name rhyme with Snot Sniles?

    • spursareold - Aug 29, 2013 at 10:14 AM

      I don’t belive Snot was part of the organization last year. Wasn’t he fired during the 2011-2012 season?

      • bougin89 - Aug 29, 2013 at 10:50 AM

        Snot Sniles was fired midway through last season.

  8. ProBasketballPundit - Aug 29, 2013 at 10:25 AM

    The Milwaukee Bucks have their own officials? Don’t they mean Bucks’ front office?

  9. bougin89 - Aug 29, 2013 at 4:33 PM

    Last year was the first season Sanders got consistent minutes.

    Sanders biggest improvements have been very simple things that he just needed to work on. Things that take repetition.

    -Hands. He was surprisingly terrible at catching passes when he entered the league. Like seriously, really really terrible.

    -Footwork in the post. He was a tall, long, crazy athletic, stumbling machine when he was a rookie. He looks much better now although he still can improve quite a bit more on his footwork.

    -Overall touch around the rim. There were times when he was a rookie where if he didn’t dunk it, you didn’t feel very confident at all he would finish. He could jump over anyone but just couldn’t finish with either hand consistently.

    -Defensively he’s progressing exactly how you would hope a really tall and athletic post player would. At times he still picks up fouls going for big blocks rather than just altering shots but he’s a big plus defensively and on the boards overall.

    He was drafted as an athletic big who would be a project. He’s rounding into form quite nicely. He was rewarded based on the contracts given to Serge Ibaka and JaVale McGee. When you add it up, seems pretty fair.

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