Jonathan Bender, the lanky 7'0" Forward who was the 5th overall selection of the 1999 NBA Draft by the Toronto Raptors (and later traded to the Indiana Pacers) has returned to the NBA after signing with the New York Knicks Sunday evening. He has career averages of 5.6 points and 2.2 rebounds over 7 seasons for the Indiana Pacers.
The former prep star and high school sensation made the jump to the NBA by skipping college, but due to injuries, Bender never reached his potential. After missing 172 games over the course of his final three seasons, Bender retired in February 2006 and pursued a business career. Now, at 28 years old, Bender has decided to push off his entrepreneur career and attempt to make a comeback in the NBA.
After a three-year absence, Bender rejoins former Pacer President and current Knicks President, Donnie Walsh. He joins the New York frontcourt, playing along side of David Lee, Al Harrington, Danilo Gallinari, Jared Jeffries, and rookie Jordan Hill.