NBA Draft Profile: Anthony Bennett


6-7, 240 lbs.

School: UNLV

Class: Freshman

AP Photo/Isaac Brekken

AP Photo/Isaac Brekken

STRENGTHS: Bennett is an imposing big man with cat-like quickness on the interior. He’s a matchup problem inside because he’s powerful enough to handle smaller defenders and quick enough to blow by bigger ones. Bennett averaged 16.1 points per game for the Runnin’ Rebels last season. Though he was streaky, he’s a prolific scorer, going for 20-plus points 13 times. Bennett is tough to move down low and is as strong as any player in the country around the rim. He’s a terrific finisher and has shown good leaping ability and an ability to attack the basket with power. He’s also a good shooter with college three-point range and hit on 70% of his free throws last season.

WEAKNESSES: There were far too many games where Bennett did not show up for UNLV last season. He scored 10 or fewer points 8 times. He’s probably not tall enough to excel at power forward in the league, and that could be a big problem for him because his body type and skill set don’t fit that of a 3. He will play the 4 in the NBA, so he needs to figure out how to defend and rebound inside against bigger players. Though he was ballyhooed as the best freshman in the nation coming into the season, UNLV was underwhelming and lost to Cal in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Bennett sometimes didn’t give 100 percent on the defensive end of the floor, and that needs to change in the NBA.

BOTTOM LINE: Though he’s seen as a top prospect and one of the best players in his class, Bennett can be underwhelming at times. He needs to work on consistency, both on offense and defense. His attitude needs to be that he has a lot to learn and has to get better every day. His physical tools and power game are very impressive, but he’s a gamble because of his size. He could turn out to be a very effective player in the NBA, but there’s also a chance that a team could become enamored with him and take him over someone who can help them right away.


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