Report: League sources expect Bucks to consider buying out Larry Sanders

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The story of Larry Sanders is still being written, and its next chapter may not take place in Wisconsin.

Sanders was suspended by the league last week for a minimum of 10 games in response to his repeated violation of the league's anti-drug program. The violation came from a fourth positive test for marijuana use in his career and comes just weeks after a report surfaced that Sanders was no longer interested in playing basketball.

The 10-plus-game absence will be used to deal with some personal issues and try to ween himself off of marijuana, according to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports. The report says that Sanders does, in fact, want to keep playing basketball, and he is learning to cope with the fact that that end and regular marijuana use are mutually exclusive.

Wojnarowski reports that the Milwaukee Bucks are yet to have buyout discussions with Sanders, who is in the first year of a four-year, $44-million contract extension. Many around the league expect those discussions to happen eventually, according to a report from Zach Lowe of Grantland. Lowe explains, also pointing out that the Bucks may not have been aware of Sanders' first two violations:

Teams generally aren’t notified about any drug violations until a player is suspended, meaning the Bucks might not have received any formal notice of Sanders’ first two violations. That does not absolve the Bucks from doing background work on their own player.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo reported over the weekend that the Bucks had not yet discussed a potential buyout with Sanders, but most league sources expect the discussion to eventually go that direction. ...

Milwaukee has a clean cap sheet going forward and no plans to rush its rebuild with a mega–free agency signing. Is the savings it might net in a buyout, plus lifting the Sanders pall from the locker room, worth the risk he might eventually thrive on another team? Maybe it is. The situation may well be worse than we realize.

If Wojnarowski is accurate that Sanders is committed to curbing his marijuana usage and re-committing to basketball, the Bucks have cause to be patient. Before running into injury and suspension issues, Sanders was on track to establish himself as one of the league's premier rim-protectors and defensive forces, and he's still just 26 years old.

Report: League sources expect Bucks to consider buying out Larry Sanders
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