FEBRUARY 23: The signing is official, the Warriors announced on Twitter.
FEBRUARY 20: The Warriors intend to sign free agent big man Dragan Bender to a 10-day contract, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who adds (via Twitter) that the deal is expected to be completed on Sunday. Emiliano Carchia of Sportando first reported that Golden State was considering bringing in Bender on a 10-day pact.
Bender, the fourth overall pick in the 2016 draft, spent three seasons in Phoenix before joining the Bucks for the 2019/20 season. The 22-year-old was on Milwaukee’s roster until earlier this month despite appearing in just seven NBA games, but was waived when the team needed to make room for Marvin Williams.
With career averages of 5.2 PPG and 3.7 RPG in 178 NBA contests (20.0 MPG), Bender hasn’t delivered on the potential that made him a top-five pick in 2016. However, the Warriors had some success developing the Suns’ other ’16 lottery pick – Marquese Chriss – this season, so perhaps the team can also make positive strides with Bender.
The Warriors currently have three open roster spots after Jeremy Pargo‘s and Zach Norvell‘s 10-day contracts expired earlier this week. Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter link) suggested the team plans to roll with 12 players for tonight’s game, at least, since not immediately filling those open roster spots will help the club remain comfortably below the tax.
Bender will make $94,851 on his 10-day contract, with Golden State taking on a $91,557 cap hit.