larry sanders

Larry Sanders has made big strides in the past year.

And the Milwaukee Bucks are banking on his ability to leap to another level as a team leader and major defensive presence in the middle.

A league source indicated Friday that Sanders and the Bucks were near agreement on a four-year, $44 million contract extension.

Only final details remained to be settled on a deal that will keep the 6-foot-11 Sanders in Milwaukee through the 2017-’18 season.

Sanders, in the final year of his rookie-scale contract, will be paid $3 million next season. But he will make $11 million per year in the next four years, showing the high hopes the Bucks have placed in the 24-year-old center.

Reported by Charles F. Gardner of theĀ Milwaukee Journal Sentinel