Reports: Bucks, forward Dragan Bender agree to deal
NBA.com Global on Jul 26, 2019 06:52 AM
Dragan Bender NBA file photo
NBA.com staff report
The Milwaukee Bucks are taking a chance on a young frontcourt prospect next season, per multiple reports.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report forward Dragan Bender has agreed to a two-year deal with the Bucks. The former No. 4 overall pick of the 2016 draft by the Phoenix Suns, Bender saw his role diminish last season after showing some signs of promise in his first two NBA seasons.
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
Source confirms the Bucks are signing Dragan Bender to a two-year deal. This fills out the Bucks' 15-man NBA roster. Bender was the 4th overall pick in the 2016 draft and is just 21 years old.— Matt Velazquez (@Matt_Velazquez) July 25, 2019
Bender played in 46 games last season, averaging five points and four rebounds in 18 minutes per game. His best season came in 2017-18, when he averaged 6.5 ppg and 4.4 rpg in 25.2 mpg in 82 games. After seeing an uptick in three-point shooting in 2017-18 (36.6%), Bender has struggled from deep and shot just 21.8% from three-point range last season.
Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports reports Bender had an agreement to head to Russia if he couldn't land an NBA deal.
Bender had an agreement to head to Russia if he couldn't find an NBA deal. Now has that NBA deal and will stay home. https://t.co/0aCriotsrq— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) July 25, 2019
In Milwaukee, Bender joins a forward rotation that includes reigning Kia MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo (and his brother, Thanasis) and veterans Ersan Ilyasova, Khris Middleton and D.J. Wilson. The Bucks also added swingman Wesley Matthews this summer, who will undoubtedly see some frontcourt minutes in 2019-20.
And, in other Bucks-related news, former Milwaukee center Greg Monroe has reportedly agreed to a deal with Bayern Munich in Germany. Monroe played for the Bucks from 2015-17 before being traded to the Phoenix Suns early in the 2017-18 season. He has since played for the Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors and Philadelphia 76ers, splitting last season between all three of those teams.
Greg Monroe has signed with Bayern Munich in Germany. Monroe played for the Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers last season.— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) July 25, 2019