Bucks Reward Center Larry Sanders with Contract Extension

Chris Chambers/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- As the Milwaukee Bucks attempt to rebuild their roster, they've locked up one of their best pieces as they've rewarded center Larry Sanders with a four-year deal worth $44 million.

In just his third year in the NBA, Sanders has established himself as one of the better young big men in the NBA. While his offensive game still needs work, Sanders earns his paycheck on the defensive end.

"Larry has developed into one of hte top young defensive players in the league," Bucks general manger John Hammond said. "He is a very important part of what we are doing in Milwaukee."

In 71 games last season, Sanders averaged 9.8 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks per game. All career highs for the 24-year-old.

The Bucks finished this past season 38-44, and made the playoffs as the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference, but they were swept out of the first round by the eventual champion Miami Heat.

The team has had a busy offseason. They traded away point guard Brandon Jennings for Brandon Knight, signed O.J. Mayo and Gary Neal, and drafted guard Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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