9:38pm: Sanders was cleared to play by the NBA and is in full compliance with the league’s anti-drug policy, according to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today (Twitter link).
6:47pm: The Bucks have waived Sanders, the team announced (Twitter link). “We believe this decision is in the best interest of our team,” GM John Hammond said. “We wish Larry well and remain excited about the future of the Bucks organization.” Not surprisingly, the team didn’t release any details about the terms of the buyout, but presumably Sanders is indeed giving up a significant chunk of salary in the arrangement.
SATURDAY, 6:33pm: The buyout deal is done, Wojnarowski reports, adding that the center is giving up approximately half of the original value of his $44MM deal (Twitter links). It’ll be a while before he plays again as he continues to deal with personal issues, Wojnarowski adds.
WEDNESDAY, 5:13pm: Sanders has no plans to pursue a deal with another team to play in the NBA this season, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports.
10:58am: Sanders will be getting $14.5MM of the $33MM originally owed him after this season, a source tells Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops, who reiterates that the Bucks will spread that amount via the stretch provision (Twitter link)
10:51am: The Bucks still haven’t received signed paperwork on the buyout from Sanders, as USA Today’s Sam Amick cautions (on Twitter).
10:38am: Sanders didn’t want to report to the Bucks following the end of his suspension, thus giving the Bucks leverage to extract as much as they did in the buyout, a source tells Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (Twitter links). It’s unlikely Sanders will sign with another team this season, Kennedy’s source adds and as Kyler also tweets, which makes sense, given that it appears he won’t return to the court in 2014/15.
10:32am: Sanders will receive $15MM more from the Bucks on top of the team’s nearly $8MM payout to him so far this season, as Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders hears (Twitter links). Milwaukee will use the stretch provision to spread that $15MM over seven years instead of the three remaining on Sanders’ contract, Kyler also hears.
10:05am: The Bucks and Larry Sanders already have a deal on a buyout, reports Shams Charania of RealGM, who says the agreement has been in place for days. He’ll only receive $13MM of the money left on his four-year, $44MM contract, Charania adds. Sanders is in the first year of that pact. Charania seconds a report minutes earlier from Marc Stein of ESPN.com that Sanders will hit waivers no later than March 1st, so he’ll be eligible to play in the postseason for another team. However, it’s unlikely that he returns to the court this season as he continues to deal with personal issues, as Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher wrote overnight.
A drug-related suspension already cost Sanders $1.2MM of his $11MM salary for this season. That suspension ended for the final game before the All-Star break, but he didn’t appear in that contest, and he hasn’t played for the Bucks since December 23rd, long before the NBA handed down the ban. The 26-year-old denied a report amid his absence that he was contemplating retirement, but at this point it seems his career has taken a serious downturn following a breakout season in 2012/13.
Milwaukee rewarded him the following summer with the $44MM deal, which came in the form of a rookie scale extension. He broke his hand in a nightclub fight early last season, which touched off his woes, and he missed time again later in the 2013/14 campaign because of a fractured orbital bone. The league hit him with his first drug-related suspension in April. His production fell off amid the injuries, and trade rumors surfaced. There appeared to be serious interest from other teams as of draft time, but later in the summer, assistant GM David Morway affirmed that Sanders was a part of the club’s future. However, the level of his performance failed to bounce back this season, and it appears the relationship between the club and Sanders has soured.