NBA Hits Larry Sanders With Drug Suspension

The NBA has suspended Larry Sanders without pay for a minimum of 10 games for a violation of its anti-drug policy, the league announced. The suspension will continue until he fully complies with his treatment program, the league said in its statement. It’s the second drug-related suspension for the Bucks center, whom the league suspended for five games late last season, a punishment which Sanders admitted was for marijuana use. The NBA doesn’t suspend players for their first two marijuana violations, but the league’s drug policy stipulates a five-game ban after the third and 10 after No. 4.

Players lose 1/110th of their salary for every game they’re suspended, so assuming Sanders sits out only the 10 games, he’ll lose $1MM of his $11MM salary. The 26-year-old is in the first year of a four-year, $44MM extension. Sanders has already been away from the team since December 23rd because of personal reasons, though he denied a report that he’s thinking of retiring.

There were trade rumors surrounding Sanders last year as he slumped after the breakout campaign in 2012/13 that led the Bucks to sign him to his extension. It appeared some teams had serious interest in acquiring the defensive ace around draft time, but talk has cooled as Sanders has failed to return to form. He was averaging just 21.7 minutes for Milwaukee before his absence.

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