Sources: Larry Sanders nears deal
Oct. 31 is the deadline for extensions for members of Sanders' 2010 draft class, but sources told ESPN.com this week that negotiations on a new deal for one of Milwaukee's new cornerstones have already reached the final stages.
In the wake of the recent departures of guards Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis, Sanders has emerged as Milwaukee's most recognizable player. He was a recent invitee to USA Basketball's minicamp in Las Vegas for the game's top 25-and-under players, only to be derailed halfway through by an ankle sprain.
Although contract figures were not immediately known, sources say Sanders is expected to receive an extension with an annual salary in excess of $10 million. He averaged 9.8 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.8 blocks in just 27.3 minutes per game last season.
Sanders wound up as the league's No. 2 shot-blocker and finished seventh in NBA Defensive Player of the Year voting. Yet he was snubbed by NBA coaches in voting for the All-Defensive first and second teams, just like Defensive Player of the Year winner Marc Gasol of the Memphis Grizzlies.
The 6-foot-11, 235-pounder ranks as one of the few holdovers in Milwaukee after an offseason of big changes. Guards O.J. Mayo and Gary Neal, forward Carlos Delfino, and center Zaza Pachulia were all signed by the Bucks last month -- along with the trade acquisition of guard Brandon Knight -- to replace the outgoing Jennings, Ellis, J.J. Redick and Mike Dunleavy.
When a deal for Sanders gets done, it'll be the second early extension of the summer for a 2010 draftee scored by a client of agent Dan Fegan, who last week completed a five-year, $80 million extension for Washington Wizards point guard John Wall. Sources say Fegan is also in active discussions with the Sacramento Kings toward an extension for big man DeMarcus Cousins.