The Golden State Warriors are reportedly signing former lottery pick Dragan Bender to a 10-day contract. The news was reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who notes that Bender will sign his contract on Sunday.
Bender is expected to sign the 10-day on Sunday. He was waived in Milwaukee after a roster spot was needed for Marvin Williams. The 7-footer was the No. 4 pick in 2016 NBA Draft. He's still only 22. https://t.co/uWWTFRhhhm— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 20, 2020
A 7-footer, Bender just turned 22 in November, but is already in his fourth NBA season. He was drafted with the fourth overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns. Four picks later, the Suns selected Marquese Chriss.
Neither of those picks worked out for Phoenix, though Chriss has done well since being picked up by the Warriors. Could Bender follow that path?
While Bender has been very bad in his short NBA career, it’s easy to see why Golden State is intrigued. In 2017-18 - the only season where Bender received steady playing time - the Croatian shot 36.6% from beyond the arc.
In limited minutes this year with the Milwaukee Bucks, Bender shot 44.4% from deep; he supplemented that by shooting 38.4% from deep in the G League.
It’s unlikely that Bender will amount to much with the Warriors, but Golden State has roster spots that need filling, and there are worse flyers to take than a 22-year old 7-footer with a nice jumper.
For his career, Bender is averaging 5.2 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game in 20.0 minutes.