Who will be the No. 3 pick in the 2016 NBA draft after Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram?
Dragan Bender has as good a case as anyone – especially now that he’s in the draft.
Fran Fraschilla of ESPN:
Bender is a Croatian who has been playing in Israel and thrilling scouts. He’ll be just 18 when his first NBA season starts, and the 7-foot-1 forward oozes potential.
He moves so well for his size, and he has shown nice touch with his passing and shooting. At times, it seems there’s nothing he can’t do.
But he still needs to get stronger, develop stronger offensive moves and become more reliable with his jumper.
Nothing works more in Bender’s favor than the success of Kristaps Porzingis, with whom he’s often compared. It’s silly to lump all international players, but that’s often what happens, and Porzingis has opened the door wider for Bender to get picked high.
Bender is an easy prospect to like, but he’s far from a finished project – which works both for and against him. Though teams might hesitate about Bender’s limited exposure, his combination of talent and youth are special.