Larry Sanders nearing 4-year, $44 million extension with Bucks, according to report

Mike McGinnis

The Milwaukee Bucks are near completion of a deal to extend shot-blocking specialist Larry Sanders.

The Milwaukee Bucks and center Larry Sanders are close to agreeing to a four-year, $44 million contract extension, according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski. With bonuses, the contract could be worth more than $48 million, sources told Wojnarowski.

Though Milwaukee had until Oct. 31 to sign Sanders to an extension that will begin after the 2013-14 season, getting the deal done was paramount. The Bucks now avoid the possibility of Sanders continuing his ascent among the NBA's best interior defenders and leaving next summer as a restricted free agent.

Milwaukee also avoids fighting with other teams and then majorly overpaying for a player who still finds himself in foul trouble and has never averaged more than 30 minutes per game. While Sanders did shed some of the issues that plagued him during his first two NBA seasons, his consistency will be under the microscope in 2013-14.

In 2012-13, the 6'11, 235-pound big man averaged 9.8 points, 9.5 rebounds and was the second-best shot-blocker in the league at 2.8 per game. He was viewed as a snub on the NBA All-Defensive teams, finishing seventh in the Defensive Player of the Year voting, but according to Basketball-Reference.com was No. 2 in block percentage and No. 8 in total rebound percentage last season.

Sanders received an invite to the Team USA minicamp in Las Vegas this summer but left with a sprained ankle.

The 2010 draft's 15th overall pick by Milwaukee is still on his rookie contract that expires after this coming season.

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