The Bucks have officially signed Larry Sanders to a long-term contract extension, the team announced today in a press release. Sanders himself broke the news this afternoon on Instagram, writing, "It's official. Can't believe I've been granted this opportunity to represent Milwaukee for the next five years and hopefully the rest of my career." The caption accompanied a photo of Sanders signing his new deal.
ESPN.com's Marc Stein first reported earlier this month that Sanders and the Bucks were nearing an extension agreement. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports chimed in last Friday with a similar report, adding that the deal figured to be for four years and $44MM, with a few incentives that could boost the overall value to about $48MM for the Dan Fegan client. Prior to that report, Chuck Myron of Hoops Rumors had predicted that Sanders would be in line for an annual salary in the neighborhood of $11-12MM.
Sanders, 24, didn't appear to be a real extension candidate heading into the 2012/13 season, but enjoyed a breakout year and established himself as a core piece in the Bucks' frontcourt. After averaging 4.0 PPG, 3.0 RPG, and a 12.0 PER in limited minutes during his first two years in the NBA, Sanders increased those averages to 9.8 PPG, 9.5 RPG, and an 18.7 PER this past season.
Because his extension won't take effect until the 2014/15 season, the new deal will keep Sanders under contract through 2018, assuming it's a four-year pact as initially reported. It will also make him Milwaukee's highest-paid player starting next season, exceeding O.J. Mayo's $8MM salary.
By finalizing his agreement with the Bucks, Sanders becomes the second of 18 eligible players to extend his rookie-scale contract this offseason. John Wall and the Wizards agreed on a five-year max extension earlier this summer.