Former No. 4 overall pick Dragan Bender has reached a verbal agreement with EuroLeague powerhouse CSKA Moscow, a source tells Nikos Varlas of Eurohoops (Twitter link). According to Varlas, Bender is expected to join CSKA Moscow unless he gets an offer from an NBA team at the 11th hour.
Keith Smith of RealGM files a similar report, tweeting that Bender’s agreement with CSKA Moscow will allow him to continue seeking out NBA deals for a little while longer. If nothing materializes, the power forward will head to Russia for the 2019/20 season.
Bender, 21, spent the last three seasons with the Suns after being selected fourth overall in 2016. However, he failed to develop into a regular NBA rotation player, averaging 5.3 PPG and 3.8 RPG with a .394/.321/.647 shooting line in 171 games in Phoenix.
A report earlier this week indicated that the Cavaliers and Raptors had inquired on Bender, though their level of interest was unclear. That report also linked the young forward to EuroLeague teams Fenerbahce and CSKA Moscow.