At this point the future is everything for the Milwaukee Bucks. Actually, it’s the only thing. Expected to have a top three pick in a loaded draft brings questions around the Bucks’ frontcourt and whether keeping Larry Sanders and John Henson is a good idea or not. If not, which one should the team keep?
From a production standpoint, the two are pretty close. Both are defensive monsters capable of forcing teams to change plays to avoid confrontations near the basket. Prior to his latest injury, Sanders was averaging 11.3 points, 9.5 rebounds and one block per game. Henson is averaging 11.7 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game. Also, both are listed at 6-foot-11. Ignoring Sanders’ injury riddled, year there is no advantage or disadvantage around production.
Today, salary immensely separates both Sanders and Henson. Next year Sanders will start a four-year, $44 million contract while Henson is still working on his rookie pay scale. Henson’s deal is better; however, that may be a reason Sanders stays. It may be much more difficult to rid of a semi-significant contract than the Henson rookie deal that will result in restricted free agent status once expired.
The x-factor is probably attitude. This is an issue for Sanders who consistently finds himself in technical foul situations, often from letting his emotions get the best of him. Also there is the whole off-court bar fight incident which is just plain embarrassing.
If the Bucks do not draft a center there is a chance they will be able to keep both, having their cake and eating it too so to speak. However, should Joel Embiid be the best available on draft night, the Bucks will need to make a decision. The two players are similar, but due to salary it’s Sanders who will get to stay while Henson is packaged into a trade deal.
David is a NBA writer for Rant Sports. Follow David S. Grant on Twitter @david_s_grant.