4. Dragan Bender – WS 0.2 (.002)
Drafted 4th overall in 2016
For as poor as he turned out to be, Dragan Bender was actually exactly who most thought the Phoenix Suns should have drafted at the time.
So, when Ryan McDonough was able to select him fourth overall, it felt at that time to be a serious win.
Welp: at least they didn’t have to give up any assets to acquire him.
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Unfortunately, Kristaps Porzingis had broken out onto the NBA scene the year before (a tall, un-athletic European, who could stretch the floor and thus defenses), so everyone who believed that the Suns should take Bender, thought that they were getting that very kind of player.
Instead, they got a tall, un-athletic big who had an extremely flat shot, who could not shoot the 3 to save his life, who got lost on defense with the slightest snag, and who never, Ever, EVER moved without the ball on offense.
Because he wasn’t a cancer in the locker room, and was generally well-liked by the fanbase, Bender managed to last a single-season longer than Marquese Chriss.
Although that was about all the franchise could handle, and it seemed too then that was all the NBA was going to handle as it was reported this offseason that he has signed on to play with a club in Russia, which probably would have ended his NBA career all-together at the age of only 22.
Fortunately (for him) he has signed on with the Milwaukee Bucks as a two-way player and is actually succeeding in the G-League.
We’ll see then if in the future he becomes a decent stretch-four, the kind that for some reason McDonough thought he could get with the fourth overall pick back in 2016.