Warriors’ future plans with former lottery pick Dragan Bender, revealed
According to Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports, “teams have their eyes” on Dragan Bender as an “early free-agent addition” for the 2020-21 season, with the Golden State Warriors showing interest in keeping him.
Bender, one of the biggest busts in recent memory, played decent for the Warriors before the 2019-20 season was suspended in March. He averaged 9.0 points and 5.9 rebounds in nine games for Golden State while shooting 43.7 percent from the field, 32.4 percent from beyond the arc and 72.7 percent from the free-throw line.
Hearing Dragan Bender is a player teams have their eyes on as an "early free agent addition" for 2020-21. The idea would be to sign him now with some guaranteed money for 20-21. Teams like what the only 22-year-old (yes, really!) did with GSW. Warriors would like to keep him too.
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) June 20, 2020
The Athletic’s John Hollinger, who used to work in the Memphis Grizzlies’ front office, expects the Warriors to sign Bender to a multi-year deal. The 22-year-old was the fourth-overall pick in the 2016 draft, selected by the Phoenix Suns. He has career NBA averages of just 5.4 points, 3.9 boards and 1.3 assists in 187 games with the Suns, Milwaukee Bucks and Warriors. Wrote Hollinger:
“Dragan Bender — A monumental bust as the fourth overall pick in 2016, Bender still has a chance to make it. Believe it or not, he’s only 22 years old. The Bucks reluctantly waived him when Marvin Williams became available, and he had played serviceably on a 10-day with Golden State when the league shut down. I’d expect the Warriors to sign him to a multi-year deal similar to the ones Mychal Mulder and Juan Toscano-Anderson inked.”
The Warriors won’t be partaking in the “bubble” games in Orlando, Florida. They had the worst record in the NBA before games were suspended in March due to COVID-19.
However, the Warriors should be playoff contenders next season, as Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins will be leading the charge.
Golden State will also have a top pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.