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Warriors sign Dragan Bender to 2nd 10-day contract

Warriors, Dragan Bender

The Golden State Warriors are signing power forward Dragan Bender to a second 10-day contract, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Bender, 22, the former fourth-overall pick from the 2016 NBA Draft, did not have his team option picked up by original franchise Phoenix Suns last summer. He later signed with the Milwaukee Bucks for the 2019-20 season on a two-year, partially guaranteed minimum deal. The Bucks later waived the Croatian big man, after which the Warriors signed him to a first 10-day on Feb. 23.

In six games with the Warriors, Bender has averaged 7.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 1.8 assists in 23.3 minutes per game, making three starts as well.

Bender only appeared in seven games with the league-leading Bucks this season, instead mostly playing with G League affiliate Wisconsin Herd, competing in 13 games and scoring 20.5 points a contest.

Bender’s fall from grace stood after he had difficulty cracking Phoenix’s big man rotation along with poor performance and bad shooting numbers. During his stint with the Suns, Bender averaged 5.3 points and 3.8 rebounds, shooting 39.4 percent from the floor and 32.1 percent from 3-point range. After the Suns selected him fourth overall in 2016, two years later Arizona center Deandre Ayton was taken first overall by the same club.

Bender joins another former Suns big man in power forward Marquese Chriss trying out the Warriors this season, too. Chriss signed with the Bay Area team last summer before being waived in January 2020 to make room for guard Damion Lee. The Warriors later re-signed Chriss to a two-way deal.