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Feb 8, 2014; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) drives for the basket against Milwaukee Bucks center Larry Sanders (8) in the first quarter at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Milwaukee Bucks rumors: Larry Sanders a Defensive Player of the Year candidate?

After a promising 2012-2013 season, the Milwaukee Bucks rewarded big man Larry Sanders with a four-year, $43 million deal. Sanders, however, struggled last season and many are now questioning the deal.

Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders believes Sanders can be a Defensive Player of the Year candidate.

Sanders never really gained cohesion with then head coach Larry Drew and subsequently suffered a hand injury in an off the court incident which further complicated his early struggles. After missing nearly two months, Sanders returned to action then suffered a season ending injury.

Sanders, 25, still hasn’t reach his prime and the struggles seem to be tied more to immaturity than physical talent. The Bucks need a strong bounce back campaign from Sanders who, if healthy and focused, should be in the Defensive Player of the Year award race at season’s end.

Before injuries and off of the court issues hindered Sanders’ career last season, he was blossoming into an excellent rim protector, which is why he was rewarded with his contract in the first place.

Sanders played in just 23 games last season because of injuries and off of the court issues. He averaged 7.7 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in 25.4 minutes per game while shooting 46.9% from the field and 47.3% from the free throw line last season. In his four-year career, he’s gone for 6.4 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game while shooting 47.7% from the field and 55.9% from the free throw line.

Be sure to check FanSided’s official NBA page to keep up to date on the latest news and rumors from around the league all summer long.

 

Tags: Larry Sanders Milwaukee Bucks NBA Rumors

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