The NBA trade deadline is just a few days away. The Phoenix Suns would be wise to shop Dragan Bender to see what kind of value, if any, he could bring back.
Dragan Bender was chosen with the fourth pick in the 2016 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns. He has not become what they were expecting but that doesn’t mean he has no value. He’s still only 21-years-old and the team would be wise to shop him before the deadline to see what other teams feel his value is.
He hadn’t played much at all this season after an underwhelming summer league and preseason, but he stepped in and played really well lately with Richaun Holmes and Deandre Ayton both out with injuries.
In that five game stretch, he shot 48.9% from the field and averaged 12.2 points and 6.4 rebounds. That’s not bad and he looked a lot better when he was out on the floor.
In the first two games combined, he held Karl-Anthony Towns to 2 of 6 from the field for a total of 4 points in the fourth quarter when he defended him. When he was guarding Jusuf Nurkic of the Blazers, he almost completely shut him down letting him make only 1 of his first 9 shots. These are two of the best centers in the league and that’s quite a feat.
His shot is still a little flat as he only made 5 of 22 threes (22.7%). However, he made 18 of 25 shots inside the three point line (72%). His offense can improve and he’s shown a lot of raw talent that could be honed in on in the right environment. The Suns, sadly, have struggled with player development and Bender could turn into a pretty decent player some where else.
It appears he is most comfortable at the center position. With Ayton and Holmes on board, that really doesn’t give him much playing time. So, the Suns would be wise to see what he could bring back if dealt to another team.
He’s going to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season, which could work for them and against them when trying to trade him. If something meaningful doesn’t present itself, then hang onto him, but they should check around to see what could come up.