NBA

Does Kristaps Porzingis’ Success Overvalue the Draft Stock of Dragan Bender

Does Kristaps Porzingis’ Success Overvalue the Draft Stock of Dragan Bender

Does Kristaps Porzingis’ Success Overvalue the Draft Stock of Dragan Bender 2016 iamges

With the New York Knicks absolutely knocking it out the park on the Kristaps Porzingis selection, teams seem to be more interested in investing in foreign superstars, mainly big men. Easier said than done.

The Porzingis pick was met with a lot of scrutinies. A LOT. I was among the critics; I’m not ashamed to admit I was wrong. When the pick was announced, the entire crowd erupted with boos, prompting Porzingis’ famous line about turning those into cheers.

He did, earning a unanimous selection to the All-Rookie First Team; however, most hyped up foreign players don’t turn out so well in the NBA, with the most notable example being Darko Milicic, who was drafted second overall in 2003—before Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, and Carmelo Anthony.

Now, one of the big questions of the 2016 NBA Draft is where Dragan Bender will land.

The 18-year-old Croatian with a kick ass name has flown up the charts over the past few months with some mock drafts placing him as early as the third overall pick to the Boston Celtics.

dragon bender hot stock for nba

Scouts have been watching the 7’1 kid for about three years now as he played for the Israeli Super League, Eurocup, and Euroleague. The good news is he can shoot. Bender shot 38.5% from beyond the arc in his 33 professional games, and he has a good looking mid-range stroke. He knows how to cut, pass, and move without the ball.

The problem is, he’s not much else. At only 216 pounds, he has a lot of bulking up to do, and he is widely unproven on the big stage. He’s an atrocious rebounder for a 7’1 big man, and there are many unanswered questions about his strength and ability to compete with uber-talented players around his size.

Realistically, Bender has a lot of bust potential, but I don’t see him going any later than fifth or sixth. I’m just hoping the New Orleans Pelicans don’t pick him up, we already have two overpaid, underperforming foreign big men on the roster.

NBA
@chrismaurice

Chris covers everything NBA, NFL and NCAA with his weekly recaps, highlights and anything else he thinks you'll want to know about and more than likely things you don't want to hear about your favorite team. His take no prisoners opinion gets some fans worked up, but that's because he's almost always right.

More in NBA

Rockets Patrick Beverley wants more NBA control over fans 2017 images

Rockets Patrick Beverley wants more NBA control over fans

Chris MauriceApril 24, 2017
knicks unprofessional timeline for kristaps porzingis trade rumors 2017 images

Knicks unprofessional timeline for Kristaps Porzingis trade rumors

Chris MauriceApril 17, 2017
los angles clippers woes continue with jazz 2017 images

Los Angeles Clippers woes continue with Jazz

Chris MauriceApril 17, 2017
phil jackson pulls welcome mat out from under carmelo anthony 2017 images

Phil Jackson pulls welcome mat out from under Carmelo Anthony

Chris MauriceApril 15, 2017
tracy mcgrady vindicated by pro basketball hall of fame 2017 selection images

Tracy McGrady vindicated by Pro basketball Hall of Fame 2017 selection

Chris MauriceApril 9, 2017
boston celtics keeping lead on cleveland cavaliers 2017 images

Boston Celtics keeping lead on Cleveland Cavaliers

Chris MauriceApril 3, 2017
devin booker 70 points doesn't help suns against celtics 2017 images

Devin Booker’s 70 points doesn’t help Suns against Celtics

Chris MauriceMarch 27, 2017
how bad is lonzo balls father lavar hurting his nba future 2017 images

How bad is Lonzo Ball’s father LaVar hurting his NBA future?

Chris MauriceMarch 21, 2017
doc rivers hating nba back to back scheduling 2017 images

Doc Rivers hating NBA back to back scheduling

Chris MauriceMarch 19, 2017

Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter

You will only receive one per day. You'll also get a free THE WALKING DEAD graphic novel with your subscription