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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

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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

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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

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