2019 Free Agency

Reports: Bucks, forward Dragan Bender agree to deal

The Milwaukee Bucks are taking a chance on a young frontcourt prospect next season, per multiple reports.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report forward Dragan Bender has agreed to a two-year deal with the Bucks. The former No. 4 overall pick of the 2016 draft by the Phoenix Suns, Bender saw his role diminish last season after showing some signs of promise in his first two NBA seasons.

Bender played in 46 games last season, averaging five points and four rebounds in 18 minutes per game. His best season came in 2017-18, when he averaged 6.5 ppg and 4.4 rpg in 25.2 mpg in 82 games. After seeing an uptick in 3-point shooting in 2017-18 (36.6%), Bender has struggled from deep and shot just 21.8% from 3-point range last season.

Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports reports Bender had an agreement to head to Russia if he couldn’t land an NBA deal.

In Milwaukee, Bender joins a forward rotation that includes reigning Kia MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo (and his brother, Thanasis) and veterans Ersan Ilyasova, Khris Middleton and D.J. Wilson. The Bucks also added swingman Wesley Matthews this summer, who will undoubtedly see some frontcourt minutes in 2019-20.

And, in other Bucks-related news, former Milwaukee center Greg Monroe has reportedly agreed to a deal with Bayern Munich in Germany. Monroe played for the Bucks from 2015-17 before being traded to the Phoenix Suns early in the 2017-18 season. He has since played for the Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors and Philadelphia 76ers, splitting last season between all three of those teams.