Anthony Bennett, the former number one overall pick, has been a bust in the NBA. But a stay in the G-League gives some optimism for the Rockets.
Anthony Bennett was the first overall pick in 2013 by the Cleveland Cavaliers. He lasted parts of 4 seasons in the NBA. To put it lightly, he was underwhelming, though I always felt like he was never the worst draft bust.
2013 NBA mock drafts had him being a top ten pick, but others such as Victor Oladipo and Nerlens Noel were consensus top picks. The Cavs had drafted Dion Waiters the year before, a similar prospect to Oladipo. They wanted him to develop and didn’t want to create a logjam at the position. The concern of Noel was injury, he tore his ACL during his one season at Kentucky.
Bennett was a “tweener” during his time in the NBA. At 6’8″ with no reliable jump shot, Bennett never could stick during his time in the NBA. This led to him being on 4 teams in as many seasons. You might be asking why he even got picked up by the Rockets. The last two years in the G-League have been a reinventing of sorts.
G-League stats can be taken with a grain of salt. Everyone’s for themselves. It’s more important to look at percentages than points per game. In two G-league seasons, Bennett shot over 40 percent from 3. He has been quietly turning heads across the league the past year or so.
Bennett provides qualities that may lead to a reserve role in Houston. The Rockets do not have great depth off the bench, especially at the power forward position. After P.J. Tucker, there isn’t any set players off the bench at the 4. Bennett’s improving 3 point shot will be the key for him to carve out a role in Mike D’Antoni‘s team.
At the end of the day, it comes down to Bennett being able to transfer his game from the G-league to the NBA. Danuel House did the a similar thing last year and established himself as an NBA player, something Bennett should use as an example.