The Boston Celtics’ wealth of options at the No. 3 pick reportedly has been narrowed down by one.
The Celtics have ruled out taking Croatian big man Dragan Bender with the third overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, the Boston Herald’s Mark Murphy reported Thursday, citing a source. The Providence Journal’s Scott Souza also reported the C’s won’t take Bender, citing a team source.
The 7-foot-1 Bender has landed as high as No. 3 in recent NBA mock drafts. At just 18 years old, he has one of the highest upsides in the draft due to his versatility and strong 3-point shooting. He also reportedly went through a workout with the Celtics in Boston and garnered praise from the team’s brass after they saw him play live in Israel.
On the flip side, Bender also is a huge gamble, as he averaged just 5.4 points and 2.7 rebounds in 13.8 minutes per game for Maccabi Tel Aviv this season and likely would need a few years to develop.
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