Mar 20, 2013; San Jose, CA, USA; UNLV Rebels forward Anthony Bennett (15) during practice the day before the second round of the 2013 NCAA tournament at HP Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Bennett Could Be Steal Of 2013 NBA Draft


Five years from now NBA scouts might be wondering how Anthony Bennett went through the NBA Draft process with little hype. Perhaps the torn rotator cuff in his shoulder, which will sideline him until the beginning of the regular season, is the culprit.

Bennett is arguably the most lethal scorer in this year’s draft. He averaged 15.8 points, 8.0 rebounds and shot 52.6% from the field, in a little over 27 minutes as a freshmen at UNLV.

He possesses very good athleticism, quickness and explosion for his position. Capable of knocking down shots from the perimeter and scoring inside, he’s a nightmare for opposing forwards. He has little trouble attacking the paint and finishing through traffic with his tight handle and strength. Bennett got to the line seven times per 40 minutes, which is good territory for a player his age.

Bennett is undersized for his position at 6’7, but his elite athleticism and 7’1 wingspan allows him to play above the rim. He’s a very good rebounder and averaged close to 12 per 40 minutes.

Bennett seems to have a high floor and the Charlotte Bobcats are one of many teams who could use a young, scoring big man to build with.

Bobcats general manager Rich Cho has spoke on the teams desire to improve rebounding and scoring up front and Bennett would be an effortless fit. He would also be affordable for the next four seasons, which would ease the temptating of overspending on a pricey free agent.

The Bobcats internal options are underwhelming. Byron Mullens hasn’t worked out in the last two seasons and is a restricted free agent. Tyrus Thomas is a likely amnesty provision candidate. Josh McRoberts was a pleasant surprise, but would fit better as a reserve.

Bennett’s athleticism and length would be a match with Bismack Biyombo up front, though both players being under 6’9 creates a vulnerability against larger frontcourts. Biyombo’s defensive ability would cover for Bennett, while Bennett’s scoring ability could create easier looks down for Biyombo at the basket.

One of the big trends in this postseason is the play of scoring power forwards.

Zach Randolph has been instrumental for the efforts of the Memphis Grizzlies with his scoring and rebounding. David West’s physical, throwback style of power forward play has been a welcome addition to the Pacers. And Chris Bosh’s outside shooting and efficiency continues to be an underrated component of the Miami Heat’s lethal offensive attack.

If Bennett pans out, the Bobcats rebuilding efforts would take a huge step. It could also allow the Bobcats to use their assets to bolster a different position.

With his combination of advanced scoring ability, freakish athleticism and rebounding, Bennett may be the best option for the Bobcats in this year’s draft.

How Do You See Anthony Bennett's Career Panning Out?

  • Superstar (12%, 14 Votes)
  • Solid Starter (47%, 57 Votes)
  • Bust (2%, 2 Votes)
  • Bench Reserve (2%, 2 Votes)
  • All-Star (37%, 46 Votes)

Total Voters: 121

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Tags: Charlotte Bobcats