The Milwaukee Bucks reportedly plan to use the NBA's stretch provision to pay former center Larry Sanders.
Two weeks ago, the Bucks and Sanders finalized a buyout of his four-year, $44 million contract after the 6'11" center decided to walk away from the NBA.
Two years into his deal, Sanders will collect about $22 million of his contract, according to the Journal Times.
In recent days, league sources claim the Bucks will use every year they are allotted under the NBA's “stretch provision.'' And that means the Bucks will pay Sanders in annual increments of approximately $1.9 million over a seven-year period. That amount will be applied to the Bucks’ salary cap each season through the 2021-2022 season.
The stretch provision allows teams to make their payments for twice the number of years remaining on a contract, plus an additional year. Sanders has three years remaining on his contract.
Sanders, 26, later explained his reasons for leaving the NBA in a video on ThePlayersTribune.com and said he had entered into a program at Rogers Memorial Hospital for anxiety, depression and mood disorders.
[daily_cut.NBA] "It taught me a lot about myself," Sanders said in the video. "It taught me a lot about what's important, and where I would want to devote my time and energy." Sanders said that he loves and will always be playing basketball, but that "for it to be consuming so much of my life and time right now, that's ... it's not there for me. That's not that worth it."
Regarding a possible return to the NBA, Sanders said, "If I feel I'm capable of playing basketball again, I will."
Sanders was suspended for 10 games in January after violating the NBA's anti-drug program and also sat out 11 games for personal reasons earlier in the season. Over 27 games, he averaged 7.3 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 21.7 minutes.
- Mike Fiammetta