Dragan Bender
Dragan Bender
21-Year-Old ForwardF
Wisconsin Herd  G League
Wisconsin Herd
2019 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for Dragan Bender in 2019. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
$Signed a two-year, $3.05 million contract with the Bucks in July of 2019.
Assigned to G League
FWisconsin Herd   G League (Bucks)
November 13, 2019
Bender was assigned to the G League on Wednesday, Eric Woodyard of the Deseret News reports.
Bender has yet to make an appearance for the Bucks this season. He might be able to garner some game action with the Herd.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
After playing in just 43 games as a rookie, Bender took the court for all 82 contests this past season, including picking up 37 starts. He nearly doubled his playing time, going from 13.3 minutes to 25.2, while posting career highs across the board. However, those averages were still just 6.5 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists, so despite the improvements, Bender wasn't a viable Fantasy option in the bulk of leagues. His upside as a floor-stretching big man still remains after hitting 1.4 three-pointers at a 36.6 percent clip, but if he doesn't take another step forward as an all-around player during the upcoming campaign, the Suns could look elsewhere to fill their power forward minutes. With the potential for the Suns to roll out some small ball lineups with guys like Trevor Ariza and T.J. Warren at the four, as well as less time being available at center following the addition of No. 1 overall pick Deandre Ayton, Bender could have a tough time even matching his workload from last year. It'll be safe to avoid Bender in a plethora of different formats.
Bender missed almost half of his rookie campaign last season due to a combination of DNP-CDs and an ankle injury, which required surgery. When he did step on the court, however, he averaged 3.4 points and 2.4 rebounds across 13.3 minutes per game while shooting 35.4 percent from the field and 28-of-101 from beyond the arc. While the lack of efficiency is certainly disappointing, it’s important to keep in mind that he wasn’t a staple within the Suns’ rotation and often played on a sore ankle. That said, he did occasionally flash potential when he was feeling good. During Dec. 26’s game against the Rockets, Bender recorded 11 points (5-11 FG, 1-4 3Pt), 13 rebounds, three steals, two blocks and two assists across 27 minutes. He will have to compete for playing time during the upcoming season, however. The Suns drafted Josh Jackson with the fourth overall pick during the 2017 NBA Draft. With Jackson being primarily touted as a small forward, that may push the likes of T.J. Warren up to power forward – Bender’s position. Not to mention the presence of Marquese Chriss and Jared Dudley. While coach Earl Watson will likely do what he can to get Bender significant run, it may come down to how Bender performs during training camp and what kind of improvements he can show throughout the season. As a result, Bender can probably be avoided in the vast majority of Fantasy formats, as it’s uncertain if he’ll even take the floor during every game he suits up for.
The consensus top foreign player in the 2016 NBA Draft, Bender went No. 4 overall to the Suns, who doubled down on the power forward position by using their second lottery pick on Washington freshman Marquese Chriss. The 7-foot-1 Bender epitomizes the stretch four most teams are looking for in the modern pace-and-space NBA, but the 18-year-old may face a longer development curve than most of his fellow first-rounders after doing little to distinguish himself in summer league play with the Suns. Over five games, Bender averaged 8.6 points and 5.6 rebounds across 32.0 minutes per contest while shooting an abysmal 27.5 percent from the field. The Suns won’t overreact too much to the small sample, as Bender exhibited much improvement from three-point range last season with Israeli powerhouse Maccabi Tel Aviv and was lauded during the pre-draft process for his willingness to move the ball, ability to make plays off the dribble and excellent mobility. While Bender’s lack of bulk makes him susceptible to getting outmuscled in the paint defensively, his long arms still allow him to make an impact as a shot blocker. Both Bender and Chriss are expected to see their minutes expand in the second half of their rookie seasons once they’ve gotten fully acclimated to an NBA training regimen, but in the meantime, veteran Jared Dudley is set to assume most of the court time at power forward in the early going. As such, Bender’s fantasy value figures to remain mostly limited as a rookie, but he makes for a worthy target in dynasty formats.
More Fantasy News
Recalled from G League
FWisconsin Herd   G League (Bucks)
November 10, 2019
The Bucks recalled Bender from the G League on Sunday.
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Drops 20 in loss
FWisconsin Herd   G League (Bucks)
November 9, 2019
Bender provided 20 points (9-18 FG, 2-9 3Pt, 0-1 FT), seven rebounds, two assists, two blocks and a steal in 29 minutes during Friday's loss to Windy City.
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Heading to G League
FWisconsin Herd   G League (Bucks)
November 8, 2019
Bender was assigned to the Wisconsin Herd of the G League on Friday.
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Continues to shine in preseason
FFree Agent   G League
October 12, 2019
Bender contributed 17 points (6-10 FG, 3-5 3Pt, 2-3 FT), six rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots in Friday's 118-11 win over the Mavericks.
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Contributes on second unit
FFree Agent   G League
October 10, 2019
Bender registered 11 points (3-5 FG, 2-2 3Pt, 3-4 FT), three rebounds, two assists and three blocks across 15 minutes during the Bucks' 133-99 preseason win over the Jazz on Wednesday.
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