Handshake-gate:

Center Larry Sanders is nearing completion on a $44 million extension with Bucks

Adrian Wojnarowski
Yahoo Sports

Milwaukee Bucks center Larry Sanders is nearing completion on a four-year, $44 million contract extension, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

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Larry Sanders is a player on the rise. (Getty Images)

The deal will include bonuses that could push the value of the contract to the $48 million range, sources said.

Sanders, 24, emerged as a breakout talent for the Bucks in his third NBA season, averaging 9.8 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game. He's become one of the league's best rim protectors and the anchor of the franchise's frontline.

The Bucks have undergone a significant makeover in the offseason under general manager John Hammond, who hired Larry Drew as coach and signed free agents O.J. Mayo, Carlos Delfino and Zaza Pachulia. The Bucks also acquired guard Luke Ridnour as part of a three-team deal.

Sanders is one of several class of 2010 players in line to receive contract extensions before the October 31 deadline to complete them. The Bucks drafted Sanders with the 15th overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft out of Virginia Commonwealth.

The Bucks were swept in four games in the first round of the playoffs by the eventual NBA champion Miami Heat, but Sanders averaged 10.8 points and 8.3 rebounds in the series.

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