The 5 most underrated players in Milwaukee Bucks franchise history

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 05 (Photo by Steven Ryan /Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 05 (Photo by Steven Ryan /Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Larry Sanders
DALLAS, TX – FEBRUARY 26 (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

No. 4 Larry Sanders

Many NBA Fans may have no idea who Larry Sanders is, but for Milwaukee Bucks fans, he should be a reminder of a bright spot during a time when things were challenging for the team.

Sanders was drafted out of VCU by the Bucks with the 15th pick in the first round of the 2010 NBA Draft. The former NBA center played for the Milwaukee Bucks in five of the six years he played in the league. At his peak, Sanders was seen as one of the top defenders and premier rim protectors in the league. His shot-blocking ability helped Milwaukee catapult from ranked 17th in defensive efficiency in 2011-2012 to ninth in 2012-2013. His personal improvement was easily noticeable as well, as he averaged 2.8 blocks per game during the ’12’-’13 campaign and finished third in the Most Improved voting and seventh in the Defensive Player of the Year voting.

After guiding Milwaukee to the playoffs that year, he signed a four-year, $44-million deal with the Milwaukee Bucks. But, this would be the end of the success for Sanders, as his career was marred with heavy fines for fighting in games, and lengthy suspensions, one resulting from a failed drug test that led to a 10-game suspension in 2015. After the season, he retired from basketball and checked himself into a treatment facility for anxiety and depression. He attempted a comeback in the 2016-2017 season but played in only five games for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Although it was a short-lived career, his impact was still felt for the Milwaukee Bucks. Whether it was making the playoffs or compiling just 15 wins during Giannis Antetokounmpo’s rookie year, Sanders was a part of a pivotal time in Bucks history. It makes you wonder, if Sanders had stayed in Milwaukee and things had worked out, what kind of significance he could’ve played later in his career.