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Bucks GM says Sanders key to rebuild, he wants that challenge

Sep 2, 2013, 4:30 PM EDT

Miami Heat v Milwaukee Bucks - Game Three Getty Images

For the casual fan who didn’t watch a lot of Bucks basketball last season, the four-year, $44 million extension Larry Sanders got from the Milwaukee Bucks was head scratching. Who was he and why give him that much money?

Because he is one of the up-and-coming best shot blocking, defensive bigs in the game and you can build something good around that.

Bucks GM John Hammond as well as Sanders himself talked about the contract and the rebuilding Bucks with the Boston Globe.

“(Sanders is) one of the key, if not the key, piece for us moving forward,” Hammond said. “Larry is one of the top shot-blockers in our business. And I think he’s only going to get better defensively. We’re really excited to have him part of our organization, moving forward long term…”

“This organization has put so much faith and trust in me, and I put that on myself also,” said Sanders. “Since I got there the organization has done nothing but push me and help me in that direction. We’ve been working in this direction for a long time.”

Putting the pressure on him to be a leader is a smart thing and could help with the perception Sanders didn’t bring his best every night. And help him control his temper.

The Bucks are once again going to be a borderline playoff team in the East. Yes, they lost Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis, but this is now the team’s likely starting five:

Brandon Knight, O.J. Mayo, Caron Butler, Ersan Ilyasova, and Sanders. They have some solid guys like Gary Neal, Luke Ridnour, and Carlos Delfino. That’s not a roster putting any fear in the Heat, but it is a roster that could grab the 7 or 8 seed in the East if things break their way.

And Sanders will be at the heart of it all.

  1. padraighansen - Sep 2, 2013 at 11:02 PM

    John Hensen wasn’t mentioned, but will probably be the starting 4.

  2. shaggytoodle - Sep 3, 2013 at 3:29 AM

    Classic small market move, the Brewers had a great player named Ryan Braun, they needed someone to build around, they took a risk and signed him.

    Anytime Milwaukee or other small teams feel they have a chance to get a solid player that might be worth building around they have to gamble. Especially if they are willing to stay in Milwaukee, so many players like Abdul Jabar, Ray Allen, and most recently Brandon Jennings. Didn’t care to hang around.

    I see flashes of a great player from Sanders, hopefully he can keep a cool head and stay consistent. the Bucks may have something to work with the next few seasons..

  3. anhdazman - Sep 3, 2013 at 6:53 AM

    This guy needs to change his bad attitude. Very talented, but very troubled individual. He needs a good coach and veteran team mates who can steer him in the right direction.

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