Report: Former No. 1 pick Bennett nearing buyout with Wolves

He was included as a throw-in during a trade after his rookie season. He couldn’t crack the upper rotation of the Timberwolves last season. He will become the only No. 1 overall pick not to see the fourth year of his rookie contract or get an extension. He may need to continue his professional basketball career overseas.

He is Anthony Bennett, and is there any doubt whether he ranks among the biggest of busts?

In some respects, such a harsh label might be a bit unfair to Bennett, who is in the final stages of negotiating a buyout with the Timberwolves, according to a Yahoo! report. After all, he didn’t draft himself in 2013. He didn’t enter the NBA with grandiose expectations other than being a No. 1 overall pick. He had only one decent season in college. And he was part of what was projected as the least talented draft classes in years.

And yet: Bennett seems lost on this level of the game. He’s a classic ‘tweener who doesn’t do anything exceptionally well. He lacks range on his jumper, can’t hit a shot with any consistency, and lacks the low-post polish to be a brute near the rim. He’s caught in the middle, wayward, confused about his role and his potential, and fighting an uphill battle trying to impress the NBA that he has staying power, or a place other than on the bench.

He dealt with a shoulder injury that interrupted the start of his NBA career, but that only delayed the inevitable. It took him 33 games before he recorded a double-figure scoring game. The Cavs, who drafted him, had no use for him, other than using him to pad a deal for Kevin Love; Andrew Wiggins was Minnesota’s prize in that trade. And then last season with the Wolves, on a team in transition, Bennett couldn’t muscle his way into big playing time.

And if you can’t do that in Minnesota, where can you?

He is only 22 and he’s healthy. That might get him another look in the NBA, because there’s always one team that believes it can get the best out of a player such as Bennett. So he’ll get a chance, but where and when are the pressing questions. He might be served best by spending time overseas, or maybe a year in the D-League where he can get playing time and not be overwhelmed by the competition. That would allow him to gain confidence and stay in the loop. Of course, if he’s merely average, it could effectively kill his NBA career.

That’s what happened to former No. 2 overall pick Hasheem Thabeet, last seen playing for a D-League entry at the Las Vegas Summer League, and not playing very well. Bennett’s other obstacle is he isn’t a 7-footer; he’s merely an averaged-sized NBA player and they come a dime a dozen.

Strangely enough, none of the teams who took a chance on Bennett have suffered. The year after drafting Bennett, the Cavs signed LeBron James and used Wiggins, whom they drafted with another No. 1 pick, to get Love. They reached the NBA Finals last summer and could win it all next summer.

The Wolves are in a youth movement that seems to be moving in the right direction. Coincidentally, they landed the No. 1 overall pick in the June draft and took Karl-Anthony Towns, a big man with skills.

As for Bennett? His main job now is to avoid being lumped with LaRue Martin, Kwame Brown, Michael Olowokandi and a few others who “suffered” from being taken first overall in the draft. And he’ll have to do that somewhere other than Minnesota.

 

37 Comments

  1. Sign him on the brand new Raptors D League Team called 904 I think! He will get experience and be a major draw in the Hamilton ON area for the new Team. He is only 22 and has had injuries that has slowed his development so he is not a bust yet! Nobody but the Cavs could understand the pick at number one but he still has a few years to prove himself and Ontario Canada would be ideal for him with a lot of home town cooking and home town support!

  2. mylestr says:

    Kwame brown actually stayed in the league for quite a while with a defined role and consistent minutes. He just wasn’t the second coming of hakeem like everyone was hoping for. Honestly he wasn’t that bad. Not near the bust level of the current AB

  3. mylestr says:

    Kwame Brown actually stayed in the league with consistent minutes and a defined role. Sure he wasn’t the 2nd coming of hakeem, but honestly he wasn’t any worse than some nba rotation centers today.

  4. tjl says:

    He’s 22 and last year he was injured almost the entire year. People are talking about the dire fate he has because he couldn’t crack the T’Wolves lineup, but remember that though the Wolves were bad, they had a lot of forwards, one being Wiggins, and another young guy, Shabazz. His position was overloaded on that team. He’s not a great player, obviously. He needs the jumper to help him stretch defenders, but good lord, he’s 22. He’s strong and plays well in transition. The Wolves are buying him out because they have enough forwards. They need a lot of help in the backcourt.

  5. drago says:

    He is to small for his position and he is not athletic enough or skilled enough to compensate for it.Every player in the NBA should have a thing that he does that nobody does better or he won’t see play time or big contracts.

  6. James Dalessandro says:

    Lakers, go get him? Seriously? The Lakers have led the league in underachievers for the last two years, they don’t need another one.

  7. Harriethehawk says:

    I have a hard time believing that even a bottom feeder team like the Minnesota Timberwolves have no use for Bennett. Wow. He may need to consider going overseas, but I do agree with the article. Wherever he does play, he needs to step up his game or else his NBA career is finished. That is unfortunate.

  8. Kotj says:

    Philly Bound

  9. Ballislife860 says:

    Cavs drafted him for no reason he wasn’t even that good in college he’s a bust he can’t play in the League .

  10. Dave729 says:

    Bennett had a great summer playing for Canada at the Panam games and he showed some promise. I think it’s way too early to consider him a bust. He has a decent skill set and can play with a lot of energy. The T’Wolves don’t need him, but I expect that he will catch on with another team and may be a solid rotation guy for years to come. Bennett still has plenty of upside and can contribute to many teams. That said, he will need a few months to work his way into a rotation. In a decent draft, he would have gone from 15 to 20. He can probably live up to those sort of expectations. It is to his advantage that he didn’t cause a franchise to crash the way that Olowokandi or Kwame Brown did. Bennett is a relatively low profile player at this point. He’s not likely going to be a starter in the NBA, but he can be a valued rotation guy who brings energy off the bench.

  11. The Detroit Pistons needs a big man.Am i right coach Stan?

  12. Gil says:

    The Pistons will….right Stan?

  13. josh says:

    LAKERS!!!

  14. LebronFAN says:

    This is not fair at all. Their is a bright spot in this lad

  15. CTC says:

    Bennett’s talent is he gets your team the No1 pick the following year.

  16. BUST says:

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  17. gw says:

    This a hit piece a smear campaign. To suggest he continue his basketball career overseas is just ridiculous. There is 29 other teams that will gladly pick him up.

  18. NBA Fan says:

    Yes, the Lakers have a history of trying to rehabilitate fallen big men (Swen Nader, Benoit Benjamin, Kwame Brown,).

  19. ademdemirdag says:

    Good article. Actually Bennett was good for Canada in Fiba Americas in fact he rained in from 3-point range in 1 game that can’t recall which. I hope he carries that performance and confidence to go with it to NBA. I think he’s a bust as he was selected as no 1. pick but I think he can make a career as a rotation guy if he works harder and defines his game as soon as possible. NBA teams need to know what they’ll get from a guy : Defense, 3 point shot, penetration, post-play, rebound? He has to specialized in one.

  20. Kevin says:

    Come to Toronto. We need someone who can protect the basket !!!

  21. KOTJ says:

    Let’s make it happen!

  22. KOTJ says:

    Philly Bound!?!?
    “And could he* be a star?
    Does success and failure* in this game have to change who you are?
    Or could I be the same one who came from a far away life
    Just to make it in this broad street* lights
    Now I’m shinin in the broad, day-light – go figure….Philly.”
    (Original Lyrics by J.Cole with slight changes by KOTJ)

    Welcome, New Sixers PF Anthony Bennett!

  23. Zaid says:

    The timberwolves should just kick out bennett. And no team should take him

  24. jdub455 says:

    in nba 2k14, he can shoot those 3s… lolz…

  25. Jose says:

    I know Miami wont do this easily but just incase they could consider Moving Haslem & also Andersen who’s name was subject to some rumors.. you might be a good back up to Bosh & Whiteside in Miami

  26. Scott JAMES fool says:

    He just has no confidence, he doesn’t have that “attack” mentality.
    Like mentioned in the article, he needs to have a way better jump shot (which has gotten much better) and he needs to have a few power moves near the bucket.
    Drop the shoulder hook and a drop step spin move hook.
    And he needs to be mentally engaged to attack.
    Good luck Bennet, I’m from Toronto and hoping for you.
    But mentally your soft, you need to get harder bro!!!!!

  27. Selador Jones says:

    I get it, but still seems like a waste… think a D-league stint would do him good, and although the Raps could use a PF, we need a starting PF, not another backup (PP, Scola..) which he is not. He could be a star on the new 905 team then make his way back in the league. I see him as a less skilled version of J. Randle..

  28. IndyFan says:

    I feel like Brad Stevens and the Celtics would be a good fit for him.

  29. verkleyalex says:

    There’s a certain team in Canada that could use another power forward. And since they could get him for cheap, bring him back home and he’ll get a shot to get playing time, I don’t see a downside. I don’t consider him a “bust” simply because he shouldn’t have been drafted in the top 10 let alone #1. The highest I saw him in any mock draft was #6. Not his fault the Cavs were stupid enough to take him

    • Nick H says:

      I completely agree, well said. Cavs were in high risk, high reward mode after lebron, and will probably be responsible for kind of ruining this kids career once he is sent to D-League or overseas. He for sure wasn’t worth the first pick, and probably should’ve fallen from the top ten. Cav’s next stupid move will be caving in and paying T. Thompson his ridiculous max deal he is demanding.

    • Philippe says:

      Yeah they should definitively sign him, dept at the PF position for not much and the potential to be a role player at home.

  30. jon says:

    lakers! go get him