UNLV freshman forward Anthony Bennett, who is considered a likely top-three selection in June’s NBA Draft, will undergo surgery Wednesday to repair a torn rotator cuff in his left shoulder and will be sidelined for four months, according to sources.
Bennett, who averaged 16.1 points and 8.1 rebounds for the Runnin’ Rebels, was Mountain West Freshman of the Year in helping UNLV reach the NCAA Tournament. His explosiveness and shooting touch for a power forward make him one of the more intriguing big man prospects in the Draft.
Bennett injured the shoulder during the season, but continued to play through the injury, though his production slowed somewhat down the stretch.
Bennett’s injury continues an unusual trend of significant injuries to players likely to be among the top players selected in the Draft. Kentucky freshman Nerlens Noel is rehabbing a torn ACL suffered in February, but personnel scouts and league executives still expect Noel to be the first or second player taken overall.
Lehigh combo guard C.J. McCollum is starting to get back up to speed after breaking his left foot in January, an injury that cost him the remainder of the season. But scouts still believe he’ll be a Lottery pick. Maryland center prospect Alex Len will be out four to six months after undergoing surgery to repair a stress fracture in his left ankle last month. But Len is also expected to be taken in the Lottery.
The NBA Draft is scheduled for June 27 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The NBA Drafte Lottery is scheduled to be held on May 21.