Report: Suns will not pick up option on Bender
The Phoenix Suns plan to decline Dragan Bender's option for next season, which will make the 7-foot-1 big man an unrestricted free agent, according to multiple reports.
The 20-year-old Bender was the No. 4 overall pick in 2016 out of his native Bosnia and Herzegovina. But he has failed to live up to expectations, averaging 5.3 points and 3.7 rebounds per game in 128 games (37 starts) with Phoenix.
The decision will save the Suns about $5.8 million next season. The club had until Wednesday to make a decision about his future.
"Of course, I wished they picked up my option but I'm not going to let this stop me from reaching my goals," Bender said in a text message to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Suns have had turnover in the front office and on the coaching staff since selecting Bender. He entered Tuesday with only three games played this season and only 11 minutes overall of playing time. He has two points and four rebounds in that time.
Other teams building toward the future could try to bring Bender into the fold next season.
"I am 20, and I will keep working to be the best NBA player I can be and make it in this league whether it's with Phoenix or another team," Bender said to ESPN.
--Field Level Media
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