Larry Sanders eager for more with Bucks

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 26, 2013 at 4:45 pm •  Published: August 26, 2013
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MILWAUKEE (AP) — It's been a busy summer for Milwaukee Bucks general manager John Hammond.

After hiring a new coach, Hammond set his sights on the NBA draft, then got to work rebuilding the roster, eventually bringing 11 new players to Milwaukee.

Last week, however, Hammond made sure one of those players still around after last season stays in Milwaukee for a while. He signed center Larry Sanders to a four-year extension worth approximately $44 million.

"We've talked about moving forward as an organization and building around young players on our roster," Hammond said. "He's one, if not the, key, core piece for us moving forward. This is a great step for us for who we want to become."

The extension comes after a breakout year for 24-year-old Sanders, who led Milwaukee in rebounds (9.5 per game) and averaged 9.8 points, both career highs. His 2.83 blocks per game were second in the NBA to Oklahoma City's Serge Ibaka.

"He's one of the top defenders in the NBA," Hammond said. "He's one of the top shot-blockers in our business and he's only going to get better defensively, get better on offense and we're really excited to have him be a part of our organization long-term."

Offensively, Sanders is still a work-in-progress, but has shown marked improvement over his first three seasons and shot a career-best 50.6 percent from the field. Free throw shooting is something of a concern -- he's 58 percent from the line in his career but -- but he connected at a 61.8 percent clip a year ago while averaging 8.5 attempts.



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