We had to see this coming. K Porzingis was a win for a large spectrum of people. Europeans, skinny people, white people, white people with dreadlocks , and just humanity if we’re being completely honest.
Off his success in the NBA, there’s now a market chomping at the bit trying to find the next big white guy from Europe that could help them sell tickets, and maybe get 14 and 7 on a nightly basis. Thus, Dragan Bender.
If you don’t know who he is, I’ll break it down for you. He’s 7 feet tall. From Croatia, which is a the first eastern European country most people would pick a big white guy from, so very convenient. He plays on Maccabi Tel Aviv, one of the top non-US clubs, out of Israel (who would’ve thought). Projected top 5 pick. Average 2 points per game, 1 rebound. Future bust.
He can’t score more than 2 points in Israel, yet there are people expecting him to come in and drop 18 a night. Not just journalists and talking heads. Lakers people went to Croatia to see him. And nobody just goes to Croatia. The kid’s not without potential. He’s smooth, moves well, and has great form on his jumper. But he doesn’t spend time in the paint. Defense isn’t much to write home about either.
There’s no doubt in my mind that if the Lakers or Sixers have the 3rd pick, they’ll add Dragan Bender. And just like Darko Milicic in 2003, he’ll be a great headache for the soon-to-be fired GM that’s passing over Buddy Hield and Brice Johnson.
This is the part of the article where I would usually put a video of Bender, but they’re all under two minutes, and I’m not going to waste your time. The kid can’t even find 2 minutes of highlights to string together.