Maccabi Tel-Aviv’s Dragan Bender Declares for NBA Draft

Dragan Bender, the 7-1 Croatian forward currently playing for Israeli powerhouse Maccabi Tel-Aviv, confirmed to SLAM today that he has entered his name into the 2016 NBA Draft.

“I put my name in this morning and we’ll see at the end of the [Maccabi] season whether I stay in,” Bender said in a phone conversation Wednesday afternoon. “After the season me, my family and my team will sit down and plan everything out.”

The news of Bender entering the Draft was first reported by ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla, who was informed of Bender’s decision by his NBA agent, Doug Neustadt.

Maccabi Tel-Aviv’s season ends in May. The annual draft combine takes place May 11-15 in Chicago. The deadline to withdraw is June 13.

Bender, who is just 18, is expected to be a lottery pick if he does keep his name in. DraftExpress currently has him going No. 3 overall.

This season, his first with Maccabi’s senior team, Bender is averaging 4.7 points and 2.3 rebounds in 12 minutes per game.