Phoenix Suns 2016 NBA Re-Draft: Different Pick Leads to a Championship

Phoenix Suns (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /
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Just mentioning Dragan Bender‘s name within a five mile radius to Phoenix Suns arena feels like a felony at this point. Selecting him with the fourth overall pick during the 2016 NBA Draft, the Suns swung for the fences, but ended up taking a pitch to the groin.

Bender never developed into the versatile big they hoped for, mustering just 5.3 points and 3.8 rebounds per game during his three year stretch with the Suns. Matter of fact, he never developed into anything, leaving the NBA last summer after brief stints also with the Milwaukee Bucks and Golden State Warriors.

Bender now plays overseas, back with the same EuroLeague team he ran with before regrettably declaring for the draft. He ended playing just 187 total games at the NBA level, not exactly meeting the amount normally attached to single digit picks.

But outside from Bender, the 2016 NBA Draft carried excessive talent, filled with solid players both within the lottery sphere and toward its back end. If given the chance to, Phoenix would gladly select one of them rather than Bender.

Thankfully, the Suns drafted significantly better during their next few years, allowing themselves to build up the title contending group standing before us today. But still, that does not save us from those “what if” thoughts when looking back at the Bender selection.

To indulge those feelings hopefully for one final time, we follow Tony Stark, Marty McFly, and Austin Powers back in time, and see the Suns changing things up with their approach the 2016 NBA Draft.