Former 2013 No.1 draft pick Anthony Bennett is considered one of the worst picks in recent memory. Despite the billing and hype, Bennett failed to make an impact and has so far averaged a measly 4.2 points and 3.1 rebounds per game in three seasons with three different teams. Bennett is seeking another chance with the Brooklyn Nets, perhaps his last chance, to turn his career around and live up to expectations.
Bennett recently signed a two-year contract with the Nets and this may be the team that will finally suit him.
Bennett had a tumultuous career. As the No. 1 draft pick by the Cavaliers, he was expected to replace LeBron James, a near impossible task. At 6-8, 240 pounds, and truly athletic, he was supposed to be the 2nd coming. Together with Kyrie Irving, Bennett was to lead the Cavaliers back to the Promised Land. With all the pressure of being the No. 1 pick plus injuries in the preseason, his first year was a total disaster.
Traded to Minnesota after one season, Bennett performed marginally better but was waived by the Timberwolves after the team took in the now retired Kevin Garnett. His poor performance and the trades shot his confidence. On his 3rd season, the Toronto Raptors took a chance on him but he only played 19 games. Bennett also gained the dubious distinction of being the first No. 1 pick to be sent to the D-League where he played poorly. The Raptors sent him to the D-League four times last season. Frustrated with his seeming lack of commitment, the team sent him packing.
Now with his 4th team in as many seasons, there is real potential for Bennett to get out if his funk. He could very well be the next big man after franchise player Brook Lopez. The Nets are in a full rebuild and he will likely get substantial minutes. All things being equal, Bennett is fast, long and can shoot. One of his real strengths is his ability to slash to the rim. One obvious weakness, his defense.
New coach Kenny Atkinson is also a plus for Bennett since he is known for player development. Bennett already has the skill-set but Atkinson can be a big help in giving back his confidence so he can return to form.
In Brooklyn, I see Bennett as a key rotation player, perhaps the first big off the bench. The Nets are not good enough to make the playoffs so there is really no pressure for the team to perform.
Bennett is only 23 years old, an age where most young men just graduate from college, but he has three NBA season under his belt. This is his time to get back on the saddle or go down as the worst No.1 draft pick in NBA history. Certainly no pressure there.