Up-and-coming big man Larry Sanders signed a five-year contract extension with the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday, according to a photo he posted to his Instagram account. The 24-year-old, who finished second in the NBA in blocks per game (2.8) last season, said he hopes to finish his career with the same team that selected him 15th overall in the 2010 draft.
Although terms of the deal were not immediately available, recent reports had Sanders and the Bucks nearing a deal for four-years and $44 million.
Sanders was one of the more surprising players to breakout last season. The lanky 6'11" power forward anchored Milwaukee's defense while contributing nearly a double-double on a nightly basis, averaging 9.8 points and 9.3 rebounds in 27 minutes per game over 71 appearances. A few of the games he missed were due to a string of ejections, but he also showed flashes of brilliance at certain points; in November, at the beginning of the season, he recorded a triple-double with 10 points, 12 rebounds and 10 blocks in a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Sanders will return to a Bucks core next year that features the wildly inconsistent Ersan Ilyasova, John Henson and ZaZa Pachulia in the frontcourt, and O.J. Mayo, Brandon Knight and Luke Ridnour in the backcourt as the team looks to improve upon a 38-44 record that gave it an eighth seed in last season's playoffs. MAHONEY: Offseason Grades: Chicago Bulls