Dragan Bender agrees to 2-year, $3.5 million deal with Milwaukee
Former fourth overall pick Dragan Bender has reportedly agreed to terms with the Milwaukee Bucks on a two-year deal. ESPN’s NBA guru Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news via Twitter.
Free agent F Dragan Bender has agreed to a two-year deal with the Milwaukee Bucks, league source tells ESPN. Bender, 21, was the No. 4 overall pick to Phoenix in the 2016 NBA Draft.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 25, 2019
After spending three uneventful seasons with the Phoenix Suns, Bender leaves the team as an unrestricted free agent. The Suns front office used a very high pick on the 7-foot-1 power forward in the 2016 NBA Draft, but have since decided to cut their losses on Bender, who has not been able to live up to the high expectations the team had on him.
In three years with Phoenix, Bender leaves the team with averages of 5.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.4 steals, and 0.5 blocks in 20.3 minutes of action. Injuries have also played a part in Bender’s young career, with the 21-year-old missing 39 and 36 games in his first and third years, respectively. It is worth noting, however, that Bender played in all 82 games in his sophomore campaign.
This is a pretty good move on the side of Milwaukee, with the team currently being a little thin on the four spot. Prior to Bender’s signing, Ersan Illyasova was the only other power forward behind reigning league MVP Giannis Antetokoumpo.
NBA insider Bobby Marks follows up Woj’s report with the monetary value of this recent agreement.
$1.7M and $1.8M on the Bender two-year pact. https://t.co/GNSY9AjnTv
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) July 25, 2019
The Bucks are getting Bender for a bargain, and this move definitely presents itself as a low-risk gamble on a player who once was one of the most highly-touted prospects of his generation.