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Report: No, the Bucks don’t want to trade Larry Sanders to your team. Nice try.

Feb 7, 2014, 11:06 AM EDT

Milwaukee Bucks v Houston Rockets Getty Images

Last season Milwaukee’s Larry Sanders was a breakout player, his shot blocking and defensive presence in the paint was one of the reasons the Bucks were good enough to make the playoffs, plus he scored an efficient 9.5 points a game. That earned him a four-year, $44 million contract extension as the Bucks saw him as one of their cornerstones to rebuild around.

This season has been a disaster. It started with him injuring his thumb in a bar fight, needing surgery to fix that thumb and missing a lot of time. He’s argued with teammates. On the court for a 9-40 Bucks team he just has not been the same player, his true shooting percentage dropping from near the league average last year to 48 percent this season (league average this season is around 53 percent).

But no, that doesn’t mean the Bucks are trading him for pennies on the dollar, not to Dallas (where these rumors started) or anywhere else, reports Marc Stein at ESPN.

Sources briefed on the situation told that teams asking whether the defensive specialist has fallen far enough out of favor with his frustrated bosses to be made available are being turned away….

Reason being: Milwaukee is said to be fearful that trading Sanders so soon, when his value has taken so many hits in the wake of that October nightclub fight and the Bucks’ subsequent nosedive to a league-worst record of 9-40, makes it tough to get something resembling a fair return.

Sanders has made a lot of mistakes this season, but they are once he can certainly bounce back from. Next season he could be his old self again, and with that a guy that the Bucks want to keep as a defensive anchor inside, a guy who is an efficient scorer, a guy that paired with John Henson could be the future front line of this team. Do that and he’s a guy that other teams may covet but will bring decent trade offers for.

It remains possible the Bucks move Sanders before the deadline, but they aren’t going to trade a 25 year old after one rough season.

  1. casualcommenter - Feb 7, 2014 at 11:11 AM

    Bucks have no reason to try to sell low. This is a lost season for them, and they’re unlikely to get anything back in a trade worth Sanders playing at his peak. Better to try to help Sanders return to form.

    • moseskkim - Feb 7, 2014 at 12:33 PM

      they have some reason. hes shown he is immature, looked like he was all about the money. he cant really score. he can block a ton but so can henson. hes a good rebounder but so is henson. i say henson, zaza, ersan, middleton, udoh is a good enough pf/c core. 11 mil is a lot to give to sanders for a small market team. his skills are okay but his maturity is not. if i can get a “do over” with an expiring contract, id do it.

      • bougin89 - Feb 10, 2014 at 9:28 AM

        Udoh is the one of the worst players in the NBA.

  2. bougin89 - Feb 7, 2014 at 12:01 PM

    I’m not really sure what Sanders value is in a trade. His contract extension doesn’t kick in until next year which is a huge negative value for taking him on in a trade.

    They shouldn’t just give him away but I doubt they’d really get anything of value for him.

  3. obmig - Feb 7, 2014 at 12:09 PM

    Who wants to pay him the contract that they have just given him? $44 mil for 8 pts and 7 rebs. There are guys that could put those numbers up and command less than 1/4 of the money he gets.

    • bougin89 - Feb 7, 2014 at 12:32 PM

      This year has been a nightmare season for Sanders. Mainly because he’s an idiot(if you’re punching people in a club when your wife is about to give birth you’re an idiot).

      If he gets back to his play of last year lots of teams would pay 4 years and $44 million for him. That’s a pretty standard rate for athletic promising bigs(Ibaka, McGee, etc.).

      • obmig - Feb 7, 2014 at 1:08 PM

        He already got paid and immediately started acting like an idiot and now he is playing like a solid bench player. McGee is hurt so take Ibaka for example. He’s averaging more points(7pts more), blocks(.7 more), rebounds(1.8 more), and fg%(7% higher). What about Sanders makes you think he is worth what Ibaka is worth? His numbers last year wouldn’t be on par either. He’s a defensive specialist, but isn’t anywhere near the league lead in defensive rebounds or blocked shots. His offensive game is a joke. He’s a project at best and shouldn’t have gotten paid.

      • bougin89 - Feb 10, 2014 at 8:58 AM

        This year he clearly isn’t. Take into context when Sanders got paid. He looked to be the next Ibaka.

        When Ibaka got paid he was coming off a season in which he averaged 9.1 points and 7.5 rebounds per game.

        Clearly both contracts were given to Ibaka and Sanders based on their really solid defense and potential on offense.

        Things have worked out well for the Thunder and not so well for the Bucks.

    • ddpenny - Feb 7, 2014 at 4:17 PM

      if Sanders man up and lose that gangster idiot behavior, in 2 years time 44 mil is a bargain.

    • money2long - Feb 7, 2014 at 5:35 PM

      ur crazy no offense. u obviously haven’t had enough of a sample size of sanders to know his true value. he’s hit a rough patch this season hence his mere 8 and 7 averages. however, in my opinion he will eventually break out of this funk and average nice numbers to justify that contract. it sounds like u quickly scanned his average and don’t even know the player he is. this sanders guy will show the world his true powers eventually. and in fact, it’s why other gm’s are trying to steal him away now hoping the bucks feel the exact same way you do about him. don’t judge this overall player by what you’ve seen of him the past few months. he will blossom eventually. watch.

  4. rossthebosspalmer - Feb 7, 2014 at 8:19 PM

    Advanced stats. The guy still leads the league in disrupting shots at the rim and in the paint (per game), despite his low blocking numbers. He’s a stud regardless of popcorn stats and peripherals. Stand pat. He’s returning to form.

    • rossthebosspalmer - Feb 7, 2014 at 11:16 PM

      Google the academic paper “Dwight Howard effect” from the MIT stats conference last year. Through all the statistics, the guys come to the conclusion that Larry Sanders was the best defender in the paint last season. It’s why everyone is looking to trade for him. His contact is a steal. The more you know.

  5. tuberippin - Feb 8, 2014 at 8:37 PM

    What they should be doing is letting Henson and Sanders (when healthy) command the most touches per game. That’s a young frontcourt with loads of potential. Instead, they let people like Ilyasova take 10-15 shots a game with poor efficiency.

    Trade Ilyasova, Neal, and/or Butler for bench pieces. Go into the 2014-15 season with a starting five of Sanders, Henson, Middleton, Mayo and Knight. Let Antetokounmpo work his way into the starting five as he matures into his body.

    Then you roll with a bench of Pachulia, Udoh, Antetokounmpo, Delfino and Wolters or Ridnour.

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