Larry Sanders' roller coaster stint in Milwaukee finally came to an end. Sanders and the Bucks agreed to a buyout that will erase the three-plus years remaining on his contract, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. According to Wojnarowski, Sanders will "leave with approximately half" of the $44 million extension he signed with the Bucks
While the buyout makes Sanders a free agent, Wojnarowski reports Sanders hasn't shown a desire to immediately return to the league. Instead, he could sit out the rest of this season if not longer. The Bucks will use the stretch provision to spread Sanders' remaining cap hit through 2022, according to NBA.com's David Aldridge.
Sanders is averaging seven points, six rebounds and one block in 22 minutes per game this year but hasn't played since Dec. 23, as he's battled several issues off the court.
After sitting out multiple games in late December due to an unidentified "illness," reports began to surface that Sanders had started to question whether he still wanted to play basketball. He eventually denied those reports, but in mid-January was suspended 10 games for violation of the league's anti-drug policy.
Sanders has yet to rejoin the Bucks and has been listed as out for "personal reasons" in Milwaukee's last three games. This is despite sources telling Yahoo! Sports in late January that Sanders was planning on using the suspension as an opportunity "to deal with his core personal issues and learn to live without marijuana use."
On Feb. 10, Sanders took to Twitter and wrote, "Soon you all will know the truth."
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Sanders, who was taken by the Bucks with the 15th pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, has three full seasons and more than $33 million left on the four-year, $44 million contract extension he signed with Milwaukee in Aug. 2013, per ShamSports. He signed that deal following a season in which he averaged 10 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks in 27 minutes per game.
But the following season Sanders only played 23 games. He tore a ligament in his thumb during a December nightclub incident, fractured his right orbital bone in March and tested positive for marijuana in April. Since signing his extension, Sanders has appeared in just 50 games with the Bucks.