CLEVELAND – With glaring needs on the wing and down low, the Cleveland Cavaliers shocked many in taking Anthony Bennett with the top pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, out of UNLV.
Bennett, 6’8, 240 pounds with a seven-foot wingspan, exceptional leaping ability and ball-handling skills was taken over the likes of Nerlens Noel, Alex Len, Victor Oladipo and Ben McLemore number one overall, will now vie for playing time with current starting power forward—and fellow Canadian—Tristan Thompson.
In being taken No.1 overall, Bennett becomes the first Canadian ever to be selected with the top overall pick.
Could Bennett be the Cavs version of former UNLV great–and top overall pick–in Larry Johnson? That remains to be seen, but based on his ability to score in addtion to band down low, this could be a solid move for Cleveland.
Blessed with a solid mid-range shot, Bennett could fill a void either as a “stretch four” or even a three, if he were to trim down.
At UNLV, the Brampton, Ontario native averaged 16.1 points, 8.1 rebounds in his only year with the Running Rebels. Bennett would recently be sidelined with a torn rotator cuff in his left shoulder.
For the 2012-13 season, Bennett would shoot 53.3 percent from the field, 37.5 percent from three-point range and 70.1 percent from the free throw line.
In Cleveland, he will be expected to give the offensively challenged frontcourt some much-needed firepower, and with his unique combination of athleticism and shooting for someone of his size, Bennett could give the Cavs some much needed muscle on offense.
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