Anthony Bennett Could Very Well Surprise in Rookie Year with Cleveland Cavaliers
There has been word around Cleveland Cavaliers workouts in recent weeks that number one overall pick Anthony Bennett has fully recovered from his shoulder injury and is ready to go. Bennett missed the Las Vegas Summer League this year while still recovering, but now is working out and playing with no trouble happening with his shoulder.
Just as no one really expected Bennett to be the number one pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, there aren’t a whole lot of expectations facing Bennett heading into his first season in the league. Because of him not playing at Summer League, because of him coming off an injury, and because he won’t be prominently featured in Cleveland’s starting five, no one is really putting a lot of pressure on the rookie—which is exactly why he could surprise everyone this season.
There are obvious flaws when you look at Bennett’s game translating to the NBA. He was a less-than-average defender while at UNLV, which only figures to get worse as he heads into the pro ranks. Moreover, his lack of size could prove to be problematic as he will need to further develop his array of post-moves in the NBA.
However, there are a lot of things to like about Bennett that could help him find success in this league. First off, he’s a talented offensive player, despite his need to further develop his post-game. He has the strength and athleticism to create his own shot from most places on the floor and a jump shot that allows him to stretch the floor, both of which will help him. As a player that stretches the floor, though, he’s also a solid rebounder with good instincts and reactions on the glass.
Possibly the biggest thing about Bennett heading into this season, though, is how his role in Cleveland will help him out. He will almost surely be playing behind Tristan Thompson at the power forward this season, meaning that most teams won’t be preparing to stop him. Coupling that with the fact that NBA teams won’t have seen him before, that could help him find success this year.
Bennett, at just 20 years old, still needs to develop to reach his full potential. Even with that, though, he seems to be in a fantastic situation with the Cavs. There might not be many people talking about him right now, but he should be in a situation where he can get people talking.
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