The Boston Globe's Adam Himmelsbach sent this tweet last week:
Hearing that Dragan Bender will probably work out for just 3 NBA teams when he gets to the U.S. Celtics still likely to be one of them.— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) June 3, 2016
It goes along with what Himmelsbach previously reported, that Bender told the Celtics he plans to work out for them in Boston:
Hearing that Dragan Bender has told the Celtics he'd come to Boston for a workout sometime after his Israeli League season ends.— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) May 24, 2016
Boston's brass recently took a look at Bender over in Europe. From Jay King of Mass Live:
According to Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, Bender's audition included 1-on-0 drills and 1-on-1 work against his older brother, Ivan, a 6-foot-10 University of Maryland big man. Ainge also watched Dragan Bender go through a practice with his professional team, Maccabi Tel Aviv.
"We actually thought (seeing a practice) was better than a game because we'd seen all his games," Ainge said Wednesday during a press conference to announce contract extensions for him and Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. "We'd seen him play in person in games, and because he's not playing a major role as an 18-year-old in a tough Israeli league, we were able to watch him practice. And we thought that was more beneficial than what we'd seen in games."
There were rumors that the Lakers might be interested in taking Bender second overall, but that ship may (or may not) have sailed:
Told the Los Angeles Lakers have fallen out of interest in Dragan Bender. Sounds like No. 2 pick is Brandon Ingram.— David Pick (@IAmDPick) June 5, 2016
Not there yet... they have scheduled workouts with a number of guys, telling their agents they are not locked in yet https://t.co/sUTiysKX1X— Steve Kyler (@stevekylerNBA) June 5, 2016
Assuming Bender won't work out for the Sixers (who own the No. 1 pick) or Lakers, the Suns at No. 4 and Timberwolves at No. 5 are likely candidates. Phoenix previously scouted Bender in Israel, and it appears Minnesota has as well:
Source: Twolves like Dragan Bender with No. 5 pick. Scouts Calvin Booth and Zarko Durisic seen him here in workouts.— David Pick (@IAmDPick) June 5, 2016
Depending on how high their level of interest is in Bender, the T-Wolves could represent a nice trade-down scenario for Boston. How about something like No. 3 and No. 23 for No. 5 and Gorgui Dieng?
Source: Dragan Bender has NBA workouts scheduled in US with Celtics, Suns, Twolves.— David Pick (@IAmDPick) June 6, 2016
Dragan Bender visit to Boston is still likely, but nothing is set just yet.— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) June 6, 2016
Here are the most recent videos on Bender from DraftExpress:
Follow Mark Van Deusen on Twitter @LucidSportsFan Mark Van Deusen 6/06/2016 01:25:00 PM Tweet Edit