Sources: Bucks seeking buyout

ByMarc Stein ESPN logo
Monday, February 16, 2015

Buyout discussions have begun between the Milwaukee Bucks and Larry Sanders that would make the recently suspended big man a free agent, according to league sources.

Sanders has served a 10-game suspension for violating the league's anti-drug program but has not returned to the team and is not expected to play for Milwaukee again. He has been listed as out for "personal reasons" in each of the Bucks' past three games.

The 26-year-old has been adamant that he wants to resume his NBA career despite the personal struggles that have resulted in two league suspensions in less than a year.

"Soon you all will know the truth," Sanders tweeted last week.

When asked last week about Sanders' status, Bucks coach Jason Kidd told local reporters: "That will be determined during the break."

Because of thumb and eye injuries -- as well as suspensions -- Sanders has appeared in just 50 games for Milwaukee since landing a four-year, $44 million contract extension during the summer of 2013.

He's been one of the league's most impactful defensive big men when he's been on the floor, but the surprising Bucks -- off to a 30-23 start under Kidd -- have coped well without him this season, posting a 12-7 record in those games while relying on the likes of John Henson, Ersan Ilyasova, Zaza Pachulia and the recently signed Kenyon Martin.

NBA players don't face suspensions for violating the league's anti-drug policy until their third such violation. Sanders was suspended for the final five games of the 2013-14 season and, through the most recent suspension, forfeited more than $1 million of his $11 million salary this season.

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