Will Anthony Bennett make the roster for the Houston Rockets? Here’s why he likely won’t make the cut.
Former first overall pick Anthony Bennett has had stellar play in each of the last two seasons in the G-League as he’s averaged 13.2 points per game and shot 43.8 percent from three. This was encouraging for Bennett as he had been written off as being one of the biggest draft busts in the modern day history of the NBA. Bennett was able to land a training camp invite by the Houston Rockets, leaving Rockets fans wondering if he would be able to resurrect his NBA career in Houston.
The contract Bennett agreed to with the Rockets was a fully non-guaranteed deal, which was mutually beneficial for both Bennett and the Rockets. This is because it allowed Bennett to compete and show what he can contribute to the contending Rockets but also because it created healthy competition for the Rockets at the forward position, which is the team’s biggest weakness.
The Rockets could have utilized Bennett at the power forward spot, as starter P.J. Tucker played a career best 34.2 minutes per game last season and is 34 years old. The small forward spot seemed out of reach for Bennett, as coach Mike D’Antoni generally opts to go with a small ball line-up of three guards, which usually means Eric Gordon starts at the small forward spot. But even behind Gordon, the Rockets have Danuel House and Gerald Green, which would have left Bennett out of the rotation.
The Rockets’ decision to bring back Ryan Anderson likely was the nail in the coffin on Bennett not making the roster. Anderson is a proven contributor for Mike D’Antoni and also brings size and 3-point shooting to the table, which are both traits that intrigued the Rockets about Bennett.
According to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, Bennett decided to undergo arthroscopic knee surgery on his sore knee, which is expected to prevent him from making the Rockets roster. Since Bennett has an ailing knee, this was the right decision for him for a multitude of reasons. For starters, he likely wasn’t going to make the roster anyways, but it also makes sense for him to get fully healthy and return to the G-League.
It seems like one more year in the G-League would be beneficial for Bennett, as he earned a training camp invite from the Rockets after two stellar seasons of playing in the G-League. One more year in the G-League could very well be what it takes to get Bennett back in the NBA, and he’ll need to be fully healthy to showcase his talents.
Hopefully he’s able to get fully healthy and recover from his surgery.