(photo by: cbssports.com) (pictured: Anthony Bennett)
The Cleveland Cavaliers owned the #1 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. Many experts had Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel as the top prospect on the draft board and he was projected to go #1 by just about everyone. There were also rumors that Ben McLemore, the highly touted freshman from Kansas would wind up as a Cavalier. Shockingly, Cleveland decided to take UNLV forward Anthony Bennett as the top pick in the draft. The majority of viewers and even the experts were in absolute shock!
Don’t expect Bennett to be one of those guys that turn out to be a bust. He is nothing to laugh at. Let’s take a look at the young man’s impressive profile before you have any doubts about him. Bennett is a 6’8″, 240 pound player from Brampton, Ontario. In case you were wondering, that makes him the first Canadian player to be drafted #1 overall in the NBA . As a 19-year-old freshman last year, Bennett averaged 16.1 points and 8.1 rebounds for UNLV, while being named an honorable mention AP All-American. His freshman season and high school honors show his star quality. Some of his other accomplishments in college include Mountain West Freshman of the Year, All- NCAA First Team and Naismith Player of the Year Finalist. In high school, Bennett attended Harold M. Brathwaite Secondary School in his hometown of Brampton before transferring to national powerhouse Findlay Prep in Nevada. He was rated as the #1 player of the 2012 class in the ESPNU 100 and was a McDonald’s All- American as well as a Jordan Brand Classic participant. It is clear that Bennett has been quite a star in the last couple of years!
Bennett is a special kind of player. Even though he carries a 6’8″, 240 pound frame, he is not a typical power forward. Bennett is mobile and uses his speed to get around slower big men. He is strong enough to muscle around his defenders and can also step out and shoot the mid-range and three ball. Experts say that Bennett will most likely be a small forward for the Cavaliers but he will definitely adjust to the position change. People have already made comparisons to Bennett with the likes of former UNLV great and NBA star Larry Johnson and LeBron James. He has some big shoes to fill because he is a #1 pick of the Cavaliers, just as LeBron was. Nobody is expecting Bennett to be as good as LeBron but he is going to be a force, especially playing alongside Kyrie Irving. Bennett’s rookie season will be a bundle of fun to witness.