Anthony Bennett's NBA odyssey continues with a stop in Brooklyn after signing a two-year deal (only the first year is guaranteed). To the surprise of nearly everyone, Cleveland selected him first overall in the 2013 NBA draft after a promising freshman campaign at UNLV. The idea was that he represented the NBA's new power forward, the "stretch 4." This is someone who can spread the floor by consistently knocking down threes, terrorizing defenses with pick-and-pops and hard pick-and-rolls.
On defense, he represented the potential to be able to grab a rebound and start the break. Unfortunately, Bennett has thus far shown to be something of a "tweener" - too slow to defend small forwards, and at 6'8'' too short to handle the size down low. Fans also complain that even when he's on the floor, he tends to watch more than participate.
This will be Bennett's fourth team in four years, an unprecedented feat for a former number one pick. His rookie year in Cleveland was historically bad. He was a throw-in with fellow Canadian countryman in the Cleveland-Minnesota trade that sent Kevin Love to the Cavs.
After a slightly better year in the Twin Cities, he negotiated a buyout and signed with the Raptors. Many, including myself, thought that Bennett's return to his native Toronto would do him well. Alas, the Raptors overachieved and Bennett found himself on the outside looking in on the rotation, a travesty considering that Luis Scola, who is well past his prime, was the Raptors' starting power forward this past season. Bennett was released mid-season and never latched on with another team.
Bennett will now look to revive his NBA career with the Brooklyn Nets, which he calls a "great fit" for him. He is supposedly in the best shape of his NBA career and perhaps most importantly, the Nets are not supposed to be competitive this year. That means that Bennett should have every chance to prove himself, although ironically, he will have to once again beat out Luis Scola to do so. Bennett is still only 23 years old but time is running out for him to put it all together. I for one hope that he can find a discernible NBA skill that keeps him in the league.