The NBA has suspended Bucks center Larry Sanders for five games without pay for violating the terms of the league’s anti-drug program, the league announced. Sanders is out for the season with a fractured orbital bone, so he’ll have to serve the suspension at the beginning of the 2014/15 regular season. Sanders admits in a statement from the Bucks that the drug he used is marijuana.
The news is the latest setback in what’s been a nightmare season for Sanders and the Bucks, who have the league’s worst record. Sanders suffered a broken hand in a nightclub fight early this season, knocking him out of the lineup for nearly two months. He appeared in only 23 games before breaking his orbital bone while playing against the Rockets in February.
The 6’11” center signed a four-year, $44MM extension this past fall that doesn’t kick in until next season, tethering the Bucks to him for the long term. A December report indicated the team was aggressively trying to trade him, but Milwaukee began turning away suitors for him prior to his latest injury. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the team dangle him again in talks this summer, but at this point, his value has cratered and the Bucks would be selling low.
It’s the second five-game suspension for drugs that the league has handed out this week, with the Arnett Moultrie of the Sixers having been penalized Monday. J.R. Smith of the Knicks received a five-game suspension that he served at the beginning of the season.