The Bucks needed help with their front line, with the trade of Dan Gadzuric to Golden State on Tuesday and the impending departure of free agent Kurt Thomas. Sanders will be able to step in immediately and contribute to an already good defensive team.
Sanders averaged 14.4 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks as a junior at Virginia Commonwealth. Obviously it wasn't against the highest quality of competition, but he did do well at all his pre-draft workouts.
The Bucks made a couple of moves prior to the draft to strengthen their perimeter game. GM John Hammond made two trades on Tuesday that brought Corey Maggette and Chris Douglas-Roberts to Milwaukee, while shedding the contracts of Charlie Bell, Dan Gadzuric, and a future second-round pick.
Those moves made it quite clear that Hammond would be focusing on the frontcourt in the first round of the draft. Sanders, although still a project, has a high upside and many see him as a future stud at the position.
When asked about the selection, Mike Harris of AOL Fanhouse was quite convinced Sanders would be a good fit in Milwaukee.
"Larry is a terrific defender and shot blocker and will continue to improve as he gets better controlling his body. I may be crazy but I think he really has a chance to grow as an offensive player. He's not a three-point shooter like he sometimes thought, but he can be a force."
Sanders has good height (6'10") and a long wingspan (7'5"), but he needs to grow into having a NBA-type body. At only 222 pounds, he will get pushed around early in his career on the boards, but his athleticism and size should make up for that until he fills out.
On the surface this may not be the pick Bucks fans were hoping for, but John Hammond has shown time and time again that he has a keen eye for talent. Although Sanders may not step right in as the starting power forward, within a couple years fans will be looking back on this pick as a steal in the draft.
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