Dragan Bender

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 11/13/19

Here are Wednesday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA G League:

  • The Bucks assigned Thanasis Antetokounmpo and former lottery draft pick Dragan Bender to their G League affiliate in Oshkosh, the Wisconsin Herd, according to a press release. The 6’6″ Antetokounmpo, older brother to reigning MVP Giannis, has played exactly once, for six minutes during Milwaukee’s 123-91 November 1st defeat of the Magic. He is on a two-year, minimum-salary deal. Bender has not seen NBA court action at all this season.
  • The Thunder have recalled Justin Patton from the Oklahoma City Blue, according to a team press release. The injury-plagued third year center out of Creighton has also played just six minutes in one game this season, a 120-92 October 27th rout of the Warriors.
  • The Kings initially assigned third-year power forward Caleb Swanigan and rookies Wenyen Gabriel, Justin James and to the team’s NBA G League affiliate, the Stockton Kings, according to a team press release. ABC10 Sacramento reporter Sean Cunningham tweets that Swanigan was initially going to suit up for Stockton tonight, but due to an injured ankle was recalled back to Sacramento instead (Twitter link). Gabriel and James aren’t in Sacramento’s rotation but will get a chance to play in Stockton tonight.
  • The Sixers assigned second-year power forward Jonah Bolden to their G League affiliate, the Delaware Blue Coats, tweets Rich Hofmann of The Athletic. The UCLA vet has averaged one point a game in two appearances this season.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 11/10/19

Here are Sunday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA G League:

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 11/8/19

Here are Friday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA G League:

  • The Bucks assigned power forward Dragan Bender to the Wisconsin Herd, according to a team press release. Bender, a major disappointment since the Suns used the No. 4 overall pick on him in 2016, has yet to appear in a game for the Bucks this season. He’ll play in the Herd’s season opener against the Windy City Bulls.
  • The Clippers assigned center Mfiondu Kabengele and guard Derrick Walton Jr. to the Agua Caliente Clippers, the team’s PR department tweets. The duo also practiced with the G League team on Thursday and were recalled. They could see action in Agua Caliente’s season opener on Saturday.
  • The Wizards recalled forward Admiral Schofield and guard Justin Robinson prior to their game against Cleveland, the team’s PR department tweets. Schofield, a second-round pick, has appeared in five games during his rookie campaign while Robinson, an undrafted rookie, has seen action in three games.

Eastern Notes: Gasol, Carter, Simmons, Booker

With Kawhi Leonard gone from Toronto, veteran big man Marc Gasol becomes even more important to the Raptors’ success this season and beyond than he was during the team’s memorable run to a title during the 2018/19 campaign, writes Jonathan Tjarks of The Ringer.

With Leonard back home in California, forward Pascal Siakam becomes the undisputed future of the Raptors, with his development into a star of paramount concern for Toronto’s long term outlook. And as Tjarks analyzes, Siakam is at his best – or at least was last year – when playing alongside Gasol.

For one, Siakam loves to put the ball on the floor and attack the rim, so it’s important to play him with a center who can shoot well enough from the outside to drag Siakam’s defender out of the paint.

Additionally, Siakam is not yet an elite play-maker, so it helps to have other players like Gasol around him who can keep everyone else involved in the offense while Siakam plays in attack mode.

Finally, Gasol provides a large body that Toronto can use during the regular season to bang with big Eastern Conference centers like Joel Embiid over the course of an 82-game season. As Tjarks analogizes, Gasol essentially acts as a lead blocker for Siakam, clearing obstacles for Siakam to thrive.

There’s more tonight from the Eastern Conference:

12 NBA Salary Guarantees To Watch In October

The majority of the NBA players who are currently on non-guaranteed contracts won’t have their salaries for 2019/20 become fully guaranteed until January 10. That’s the league-wide salary guarantee date and the default deadline that applies to players who haven’t negotiated an earlier salary guarantee date.

Still, some players did negotiate an earlier trigger date, and the majority of those deadlines will arrive in October. At least a dozen players around the NBA are believed to have partial or full guarantees that will go into effect in October.

Now, it’s worth noting that salary guarantee dates are somewhat malleable. If the player’s camp agrees, a team can quietly move that deadline back, giving the club more time to make a decision on whether or not to fully invest in its player for the 2019/20 season. The player doesn’t necessarily have to agree, but he may be on board with postponing that deadline if the alternative is being waived and receiving none of his salary.

Most of our information related to salary guarantee dates is coming from the salary database at Basketball Insiders, and BI hasn’t published all the details on the latest signings from around the NBA yet. In other words, there could be a few more recently-signed players who have October salary guarantee dates.

For now though, these are the 12 players believed to have salary guarantee dates coming up next month:

Full guarantees:

  1. Ivan Rabb (Grizzlies): Partial guarantee of $371,758 increases to full guarantee of $1,618,520 salary if not waived by October 19.
  2. Chris Boucher (Raptors): Partial guarantee of $125,000 increases to full guarantee of $1,588,231 salary if not waived by first day of regular season.
  3. Malcolm Miller (Raptors): Partial guarantee of $150,000 increases to full guarantee of $1,588,231 salary if not waived by first day of regular season.
  4. Duncan Robinson (Heat): Partial guarantee of $1,000,000 increases to full guarantee of $1,416,852 salary if not waived by first day of regular season.
  5. Kenrich Williams (Pelicans): Partial guarantee of $200,000 increases to full guarantee of $1,416,852 salary if not waived by first day of regular season.

Partial guarantees:

  1. Christian Wood (Pistons): $1,645,357 salary becomes partially guaranteed ($822,679) if not waived before first day of regular season.
  2. Trey Burke (Sixers): Partial guarantee of $405,000 increases to $810,000 if not waived by first day of regular season (full salary is $2,028,594).
  3. Jordan McRae (Wizards): Partial guarantee of $400,000 increases to $600,000 if not waived by first day of regular season (full salary is $1,645,357).
  4. Dragan Bender (Bucks): Partial guarantee of $300,000 increases to $600,000 if not waived by first day of regular season (full salary is $1,678,854).
  5. Ben McLemore (Rockets): Partial guarantee of $50,000 increases to $500,000 if not waived by first day of regular season (full salary is $2,028,594).
  6. Kendrick Nunn (Heat): Partial guarantee of $150,000 increases to $450,000 if not waived by first day of regular season (full salary is $1,416,852).
  7. William Howard (Jazz): Partial guarantee of $50,000 increases to $250,000 if not waived by first day of regular season (full salary is $898,310).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Central Notes: Bender, Thompson, Clarkson, Beasley

The Cavaliers decided not to make a stronger play for Dragan Bender because he would have required too much guaranteed money, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Bender signed a two-year, $3.5MM deal with the Bucks last month that includes a partial guarantee of about $600K. Cleveland was hesitant to give that much to a player who wouldn’t have been a sure thing to make the roster.

After being selected with the fourth pick in the 2016 draft, Bender put up three uninspiring years in Phoenix, including averages of 5.0 points and 4.0 rebounds in 46 games last season. He was an unrestricted free agent because the Suns declined his fourth-year option in October.

Instead of giving money to Bender, the Cavs opted for former Clippers guard Sindarius Thornwell, who will come to camp on a non-guaranteed minimum contract. With Cleveland less than $3MM away from the luxury tax line, guaranteeing money for a player like Bender would have been risky.

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • Tristan Thompson and Jordan Clarkson would have been available for trades earlier this summer, Fedor adds in the same story. Both will be free agents next July, and moving their salaries ($18.5MM for Thompson and $13.4MM for Clarkson) could offer the chance for cap relief. With training camp about six weeks away, Fedor doesn’t expect the Cavaliers to move either player soon, but their names should resurface closer to the February deadline.
  • Michael Beasley‘s agreement with the Pistons is expected to be non-guaranteed, according to Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press. Beasley will battle Christian Wood, who was claimed off waivers last month, for the final roster spot. With the signing of Derrick Rose, Detroit has added the top two picks in the 2008 draft this summer.
  • Better ball movement will be an emphasis for the Bulls this year, writes Mark Strotman of NBC Sports Chicago. The team ranked near the bottom of the league last season in assist ratio, effective field goal percentage and several other key offensive categories. Chicago is counting on several offseason additions, such as the signing of Thaddeus Young, to help improve in those areas.

Bucks Notes: Buford, Bender, 2020 Playoff Odds

The Wisconsin Herd, the Bucks‘ G League affiliate, has hired Chase Buford as their new head coach, per the team’s website.

“Chase has had wide-ranging basketball experiences over the past seven years, both in the G League and the NBA, and we believe he’s one of the bright young coaches in the game,” said Herd GM Dave Dean. “We are excited by his approach, fresh ideas and collaborative spirit. It’s a pleasure to welcome Chase to Wisconsin and to the Bucks family.”

Buford, who is the son of long-time Spurs executive R.C Buford, most recently was an assistant coach for the Delaware Blue Coats (the Sixers’ G League affiliate). The 30-year-old coach began his professional career back in 2012 as a regional scout with the Hawks.

Here’s more from Wisconsin:

  • The Bucks have officially added Chad Forcier as an assistant coach, the team relays on its website. Forcier spent last season as an assistant coach with the Grizzlies.
  • ESPN’s Bobby Marks (via Twitter) has some details on Dragan Bender‘s two-year minimum salary contract with the Bucks. Bender will make $300K guaranteed in the first year, though that figure will rise to $600K if he remains on the roster through Milwaukee’s first game of the season. The second year of Bender’s deal is non-guaranteed.
  • No NBA team is a stronger favorite to make the 2020 postseason that the Bucks, according to Caesars Entertainment, as David Purdum of ESPN.com passes along. Milwaukee is listed at -5,000 to make the postseason — that means you’d need to wager $5,000 on a Bucks playoff berth to win $100. Philadelphia is the next strongest favorite at -4,000.

Bucks Sign Dragan Bender To Two-Year Deal

JULY 26, 8:09am: The Bucks have officially signed Bender, per NBA.com’s transactions log.

JULY 25, 12:20pm: The first year of Bender’s deal with the Bucks is partially guaranteed, while the second is non-guaranteed, reports Matt Velazquez of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Twitter links).

JULY 25, 10:49am: Free agent power forward Dragan Bender won’t be returning overseas after all, as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports (via Twitter) that the former lottery pick has reached an agreement on a two-year deal with the Bucks.

Guarantee details aren’t yet known, but Milwaukee can’t offer more than the veteran’s minimum, which would result in salaries worth approximately $1.68MM in 2019/20 and $1.82MM in 2020/21 for Bender.

Bender, 21, spent the last three seasons with the Suns after being selected fourth overall in 2016. However, he has 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 last week indicated that Bender was close to signing with defending EuroLeague champions CSKA Moscow. However, the verbal agreement Bender had with the Russian club was said to be contingent on him not receiving any last-minute NBA offers. Now that the Bucks have swooped in at the 11th hour, the young big man will remain stateside.

Before making their deal with Bender official, the Bucks are already carrying 14 players with fully guaranteed salaries for 2019/20. If Bender gets a guaranteed salary too, it would make him a strong favorite to fill the team’s 15th and final regular season roster spot.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dragan Bender Likely To Sign With CSKA Moscow

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.

If he finalizes his deal with CSKA Moscow, Bender will join former NBA players such as Joel Bolomboy and Darrun Hilliard on the Russian club.

NBA, EuroLeague Teams Eyeing Dragan Bender?

The Cavaliers and Raptors are among the teams that have inquired on free agent power forward Dragan Bender, tweets international reporter Orazio Cauchi. According to Cauchi, EuroLeague clubs like CSKA Moscow and Fenerbahce are also keeping an eye on Bender and have “some level of interest.”

Bender, 21, was the fourth overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft and spent the last three seasons with the Suns. However, he has failed to develop into a regular rotation player, averaging 5.3 PPG and 3.8 RPG with a .394/.321/.647 shooting line in 171 games in Phoenix.

A source tells Cauchi (Twitter link) that there some NBA teams still believe Bender’s potential could be worth a roll of the dice. At this point though, the young big man seems unlikely to receive more than minimum-salary offers, and even then, it’s not clear he’d get any sort of guarantees.

If Bender had played out his rookie contract, he would have been on track to earn a $5.9MM salary in 2019/20. The Suns turned down their fourth-year team option though, allowing the Croatian to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.