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Rumor Central: Can Dragan Bender earn spot in starting lineup?

Forward Dragan Bender, In his second season with the Phoenix Suns, has made 15-of-29 shots from behind the 3-point line over the last nine games. Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images

After a difficult rookie season in 2016-17, Phoenix Suns forward Dragan Bender has improved in his second year. In his past nine games, he's made 15-of-29 shots from behind the 3-point line. Will interim head coach Jay Triano consider promoting Bender to the first unit to help improve the spacing on offense?

Rumor Central"I can't say I haven't thought about it," Triano told azcentral sports. "But I think he's been thriving in his role right now."

As a rookie, Bender averaged 3.4 points per game (27.7 percent from behind 3-point line) and 2.4 rebounds. This season, Bender is averaging 5.9 points (38.2 percent on 3-point attempts) and 3.8 rebounds.

"I think our bench players kind of know each other and play together well," Triano added. "So I like the way they play together."

Bender, the No. 4 selection in the 2016 draft, might stay as a reserve for the immediate future, however if he continues to shoot well from the 3-point line Triano could change his mind and promote the young forward to the starting group.

-- Nick Silva