No one is going to claim Anthony Bennett off the waivers because of his salary and cap hit. But after that? We’re still not going to see some wave of suitors coming in. But the Portland Trail Blazers for some reason, and the Philadelphia 76ers, for no reason, might be going after him.
Bennett has a chance of being the worst number one draft pick in history. After averaging 4.2 points and 3 rebounds per game while shooting 35.6% from the field in his rookie season with the Cleveland Cavaliers, he was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Less expectations, less pressure, a younger team around him; things should have been easier, better, right?
Well, Bennett didn’t suddenly turn into the player he was UNLV. He’s still a tweener, even with lost weight, and just can’t seem to find the right position or consistent shooting form. He averaged 5.2 points per game with much improved shooting (42.1% from the field) but his per minute and per possession numbers didn’t budge. Heading into another season, the Timberwolves thought it’s better to part ways.
So Bennett, two years after stunning everyone by going number one, is very close to the end of his NBA career. The Blazers have Jay Triano as an assistant. He is the head coach of the Canadian national team, where Bennett plays, and things in Portland aren’t great, which gives Bennett the opportunity to maybe show what he has for one last time.
The Sixers? It’s hard figuring out why they do the things they do, but with enough cap space to not worry about any addition and with no clear plan of what to do going forward, it won’t be surprising to see Bennett ending up playing for them, in what should be a slightly better season for them compared to the last two years. And no, not being the team with the worst record in the league two years in a row isn’t something to be proud of.