Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv WiretapMaccabi FOX Tel Aviv Wiretap

Scout: Dragan Bender More Advanced At 18 Than Porzingis

May 20, 2016 11:52 AM

Dragan Bender probably has the best shot of pulling a draft upset and being selected ahead of either Ben Simmons or Brandon Ingram.

Bender has a recent small sample size with Maccabi Tel Aviv, but he's younger than most freshman and has been playing against players more than a decade older than him.

"Dragan is more advanced at his age than Kristaps Porzingis was when he was 18," a longtime NBA scout said. "Dragan has great length, and he can block shots. He can run the floor, and his ability to finish at the rim is exceptional. His shot is getting better all the time. On defense, he has the ability to guard the 4 or the 5. He needs to gain weight and strength, but his potential is jaw-dropping."

"Top players from Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina play basketball to express beauty," said Maurizio Balducci, Bender's Italy-based agent, who is also watching the practice. "This is how [the late] Drazen Petrovic played and Toni Kukoc played. Dragan is very much from this culture. And dunking in a layup line when you are 7'1" is not an expression of beauty."

Lars Anderson/Bleacher Report

Tags: Dragan Bender, Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv, NBA, NBA NBA Draft, NBA Draft General, International Teams

Discuss Buy Tickets
Dragan Bender Declares For NBA Draft

Apr 6, 2016 11:24 AM

Dragan Bender officially entered the 2016 NBA Draft, according to his agent Doug Neustadt.

Bender is expected to be a top-10 pick in the draft.

Bender plays overseas for Maccabi Tel Aviv where he's averaging 4.7 points and 2.3 rebounds in 12.3 minutes per game.

Bender turned 18 in November and is seven feet tall.

Fran Fraschilla/ESPN

Tags: Dragan Bender, Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv, NBA, NBA NBA Draft, International, NBA Draft General, NBA Draft Declarations, International Teams

Discuss Buy Tickets
Elijah Millsap Signs With Maccabi Tel Aviv

Jan 24, 2016 4:01 PM

Elijah Millsap has signed with Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Millsap was waived this month by the Utah Jazz.

Millsap started the 2014-15 season in Bakersfield, and his outstanding play there (averaging 20.6 points, 8.3 rebounds, 5.2 assists, and 2.1 steals per game) led to an NBA contract.

In 67 games with the Jazz, Millsap posted averages of 4.2 points, 2.8 rebounds, and one steal in 16 minutes of playing time. 

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Elijah Millsap, Utah Jazz, Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv, Euroleague, Israeli BSL, NBA, International, International Teams, International League

Discuss Buy Tickets
Jordan Farmar Signs With Maccabi Tel Aviv

Jul 6, 2015 12:44 PM

Jordan Farmar has signed with Maccabi Tel Aviv of Israel.

Farmar signed last offseason with the Los Angeles Clippers and was released by the team in January.

Farmar finished last season playing in Turkey.

Farmar previously played for Maccabi Tel Aviv during the lockout.

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Jordan Farmar, Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv, NBA, International, International Teams, International Misc Rumor

Discuss Buy Tickets
Dragan Bender Prevented From Playing In U19 Due To Shoe Contract

Jun 28, 2015 11:35 AM

Dragan Bender, a potential top-5 pick in 2016, was ruled out of the Under-19 World Championship due to his refusal to wear Jordan Brand shoes.

Bender has signed an exclusive deal with Adidas, which prevents him from wearing other brands of shoes under the terms of the contract.

“They said to me, if Dragan doesn't use Jordan Brand shoes, he can't play,” Bender's agent wrote to Draft Express. “We are very sad. He wanted to defend the colors of his country, but it looks like commercial reasons are above sport reasons. I am so sad for all his teammates his coach. They did a great job during the past three weeks (preparing for the tournament).”

David Hein of FIBA.com confirmed that Bender wouldn't play. From FIBA's story:

"Vladimr Vanjak, Croatia's head of delegation at the tournament in Heraklion (Crete), Greece, confirmed to FIBA.com that Bender will be leaving Greece on Sunday.

He said: "The fact is that Bender denied [refused] to play in the Jordan Brand shoes but our Federation has a contract with Jordan and everybody has to play in Jordan Brand. He denied to do that but he didn't say anything before coming here. That's the problem. I talked with my Secretary General and other people who made the decision because we have a very serious contract with Jordan. If he cannot play in Jordan Brand, he cannot play. That's it."

Jonathan Givony/Draft Express

Tags: Dragan Bender, Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv, NBA, National, International Teams

Discuss Buy Tickets