5 Worst signings in Milwaukee Bucks history

Tim Thomas, Milwaukee Bucks (Photo by: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Tim Thomas, Milwaukee Bucks (Photo by: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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Larry Sanders, Milwaukee Bucks
Larry Sanders, Milwaukee Bucks (Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports) /

1. Larry Sanders

Depending on how you want to look at it, the Larry Sanders signing may or may not make your own “worst signings in Bucks history” list. There was a lot that went into his fall from grace with the Bucks. But there’s no doubt that his time in Milwaukee didn’t come close to touching the potential that Bucks fans had for him.

After being drafted out of VCU in 2010, Sanders had two fairly quiet seasons with Milwaukee before breaking out. During the 2012-13 season, he put himself out there as a name to watch with his relentless energy, great rim protection, and passion for the game. This was a guy who would smack opponents’ shots into the 5th row then clap in his face and talk smack immediately after. He brought fire to the game, and fans loved him for it.

Sanders had all the tools to dominate the defensive end of the floor. The Bucks and their fans deservedly thought that they had found someone special. He seemed like he could be the lynchpin of what could eventually be a suffocating defense. To help bring that to life, the Bucks signed Sanders to a 4-year, $44 million dollar deal ahead of the 2013 season.

It wasn’t long into the 2013 season that things started to come apart for Sanders. He was sidelined for 25 games for his role in a nightclub fight and tore a ligament in his thumb in that same fight.

He would return in 2014 but not for long. In March of that same season, he broke the orbital bone near his right eye after taking an elbow to the face from James Harden. That injury would sideline him for the rest of the season.

Two drug-related suspensions would follow, after the second one the Bucks announced that they were buying out the remainder of Sanders’ contract.

Sanders would eventually check himself into a rehabilitation facility, question if basketball was truly his calling, and pursue his artistic passions, all before returning to the league in 2017, this time for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Of all the signings, Sanders is the one that bugs me the most. He had so much talent and passion and you could see that in the way he played. But he also had some real off-the-court issues he needed to sort out. It’ll be hard to find a Bucks fan who resents Sanders for how things shook out in Milwaukee, everyone wanted him to succeed. But for one reason or another, it never did.

Next. 5 Players the Bucks Gave Up on Too Soon. dark