COLLEGE: (NO COLLEGE)INTERNATIONAL PLAYER FOR Maccabi Fox Tel Aviv of the Israeli Super League
WEIGHT: 215 POUNDS
AGE: 18 years old
POSITION: POWER FORWARD
CLASS: NO CLASS – International Player
2015-2016 STATISTICS: 5PTS, 2REB- Doesn’t get much playing time. This is normal for young players who play in the Israeli League
PROJECTED DRAFT POSITION: TOP 10 PICK
NBA DRAFT COMPARISON: TONI KUKOC
PLAYER SUMMARY: Dragan Bender is the 2016 NBA Draft’s wildcard. The excellent play of New York Knicks rookie Kristaps Porzingis has scouts analyzing the 18-year old’s every move. The quality of international players entering the NBA the last few years have declined, however Porzingis has changed that. Bender is the biggest mystery in this years draft. He is currently playing in Israel for one of its premier teams.
Bender is a legit 7’0″ PF/C with very similar skills to Porzingis, however Porzinigs is a much better shooter at this point in time.. From the few videos I have seen on him it looks like he is a very mobile player for his height. His length allows him to make plays on the defensive end and is a solid ball-handler for his height. He has really nice form on his jump-shot, although right now it is very streaky. It is widely known that he has an advanced feel for the game. He would be a freshmen in college if he was playing in the United States this year.
Scouts question how Bender’s frame will eventually wind up. Will he put on the necessary weight to play down-low, or is he going to be a “stretch-4”? He doesn’t have the necessary strength right now to play inside on a consistent basis, although to his credit he is playing in a professional league with grown men. Will he have the mental toughness to compete on a nightly basis in the NBA? Porzingis did, although nobody knew that until he put on a NY Knick uniform.
There is no questioning when watching video of Bender that he is highly skilled. He is very unique in that he is 7-foot and plays more like a SG/SF than a PF/C. Perhaps more than anybody entering this years draft, his individual workouts with NBA teams will determine where he ends up on draft night. I believe Dragan Bender is selected within the top 6 of the NBA Draft, perhaps as high as number 2.
BELOW ARE HIGHLIGHTS OF DRAGAN BENDER
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