2. Dragan Bender
When the Rockets traded 6-foot-10 center Clint Capela for 6-foot-7 forward Robert Covington, they essentially gave up their only big man on the roster, which means they’ll surely need to replace Capela’s size. The Rockets will face teams who have the ability to exploit their lack of size, and they’ll also run into situations where having a big man will come in handy.
We all know that the Rockets employ a 3-point heavy offense, so it would really behoove them to bring in a big man who has the ability to space the floor and drain the triple. Enter former Milwaukee Bucks sharpshooter Dragan Bender.
Bender was released by the Bucks so they could bring in former Charlotte Hornets forward Marvin Williams, and hasn’t been linked to any specific team, in spite of the fact that he’s available. The Rockets would be wise to kick the tires on the 22-year-old Bender, who stands 7-feet-tall and would instantly become the tallest player on the team.
Not only that, Bender has shot the triple at a 44.4 percent clip in limited minutes this season, which ranks fourth-best in the league. This would make him the best 3-point shooter on the Rockets as well, which means he could provide tremendous value on the second-unit.
Although Bender has played well, he’s only landed 13 minutes per game, despite having per 36 averages of 10.3 points, 7.9 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and two blocks. Bender has shown himself to be am underrated defender, as he has posted a defensive box plus minus of 2.6, which is tied for 23rd in the league.
Bender has found it difficult to land minutes in Milwaukee, as he played more games in the G-League than he did for the Bucks this season. The 22-year-old has shined in the G-League as well, as he’s averaged 20.5 points on 38.4 percent from deep, in addition to 8.9 rebounds per game.
This means Bender could provide the Rockets with size, 3-point shooting, defense, and rebounding, not to mention youth. With the Rockets in need of each, it would be a smart move to give Bender a look.
Next: No. 1