MILWAUKEE (AP) The Milwaukee Bucks have rewarded center Larry Sanders for his breakout season with a multiyear contract extension.
General manager John Hammond announced the deal Tuesday in a statement. Terms were not announced.
The 6-foot-11 Sanders had career-highs of 9.8 points and 9.5 rebounds last season. His 2.8 blocks per game ranked second in the NBA, and he had a stretch of 40 straight games with a block.
``Larry has developed into one of the top young defensive players in the league,'' Hammond said. ``He is a very important part of what we are doing in Milwaukee.''
Sanders, the 15th overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft, is considered part of the core for the retooling Bucks, who traded Brandon Jennings (17.5 points) to the Pistons last month for point guard Brandon Knight (13.1 points).
Other offseason moves by the busy Bucks included acquiring free-agent guards O.J. Mayo and Gary Neal, and drafting 18-year-old Greek phenom Giannis Antetokounmpo in the first round.
The Bucks finished 38-44 last season before being swept in the first round of the playoffs by the eventual reigning two-time champion Miami Heat. Former Hawks coach Larry Drew is now the new boss in Milwaukee.
Besides the 24-year-old Sanders, the other few Bucks returnees include John Henson, Ish Smith and Epke Udoh.