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Suns’ Dragan Bender youngest in 18 years to post 11/13/3/2/2 line

Dragan Bender just turned 19 years old last month. Now he’s posted the best stat line for a player his age in almost two decades

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Phoenix Suns Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

In the past year, we have a seen a few of the Suns’ teenagers players post a double-double, so you’re probably getting numb to it.

But don’t get used to it.

No one younger than Dragan Bender has posted a double-double since 2014.

And 1998 - 18 years ago - was the last time someone younger than Bender has posted a stat line as good as 11+ points, 13+ rebounds plus 3 steals and 2 blocks in the same game. At that was the uber-talented Tracy McGrady.

Three Suns

The Suns, going through a major rebuild, have had the three most recent teenage double-doubles in the NBA.

Bender is the youngest, but Booker and Chriss are not that far behind.

Devin Booker first did it against the Charlotte Hornets last January 6 with 17 points and 10 rebounds at 19 months and 68 days old in the 32nd game of Booker’s NBA career. And then he got a couple of points-assists double-doubles against the Golden State Warriors in February and March.

Marquese Chriss posted his own first double double just two weeks ago against the Knicks with 14 points and 12 rebounds. He was 19 years and 147 days old, in only the 25th game of Chriss’ career.

And now Dragan Bender has grabbed his seat at the kiddie table.

Bender had 11 points and 13 rebounds (along with 3 steals, 2 blocks and 2 assists) against the Rockets last night. He was only 19 years and 39 days old, playing in just the 24th game of his NBA career.

Down to Buck did him wrong with that still-shot, but that’s all I can find for video this morning. Sorry, Dragan.

Rare feat

Since the league began the “must be 19 in the year you are drafted” rule 10 years ago, the only player to post his first double-double at a younger age than Bender has been Giannis Antetokuompo, who posted a pair of them before the 39th day after his 19th birthday.

Chriss and Bender are the only teenagers with double-doubles this season so far, among the dozen who are still teenagers.

Last season, joining Booker in the teenage double-double club were Karl-Anthony Towns, Jalil Okafor, D’Angelo Russell, Emmanuel Mudiay, Stanley Johnson and Myles Turner. That was a crazy-good draft.

All-time, the only players in league history with double-doubles at a younger age than Bender’s 19-039 are Tracy McGrady, LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Andris Biedrins, Josh Smith, Andrew Bynum and Giannis Antetokuompo.

Let’s make it a little harder.

Youngest since McGrady

The only players younger than Dragan Bender with a double-double PLUS 3 steals and 2 blocks: Tracy McGrady, Dwight Howard and Josh Smith.

The only one who has EVER posted a stat line at least as diverse as 11+ points, 13+ rebounds, 2+ assists, 3+ blocks and 2+ steals was the one and only Tracy McGrady.

That’s it.

One other NBA player since 1983-84 since the NBA started tracking these things.


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