Prospect Profile is an ongoing series on King James Gospel that looks at 2013 NBA Draft prospects.
Anthony Bennett, PF, UNLV, FR, 6’7”
Last season, Anthony Bennett emerged as one of the NCAA’s best all-around scorers. His primary skill is his fantastic finishing ability, combining length and athleticism to give him a terrific game above the rim. He can struggle in the paint, without any great post moves, though he did show some rudimentary ability to get decent shots, utilizing a soft touch and quickness, though he could still improve a lot there. He’s also shown scoring ability outside the paint, knocking down jump shots, and hitting 37.9% of his threes. In this video of his 25 point performance against California in January, you can see that he’s got good fundamentals and great potential as a floor spacer in the pros.
He handles the ball well, rarely turning it over, but passes the ball even less often, using most of his possessions for his own offense, which he’ll have to change in the pros.
Despite his solid offensive game, he struggles on defense, which could be another turnoff for the highest lottery teams. He often looks lost or disinterested on defense, losing his matchups, moving slowly, and giving up deep post position without much of a fight. His fundamentals aren’t very sound and he could improve just by showing more intensity, as he did make some good plays on the defensive end throughout the season. He’s athletic, long (7’1” wingspan), and strong enough to make up for his height deficiency and cover most opposing big men effectively. His quickness and length will be especially crucial against other floor-spacing fours.
Finally, he’ll start the season on the bench, coming off a shoulder injury.
His floor spacing ability would be of great benefit to a team like Sacramento or Orlando, but the best fits for Bennett will almost certainly be either the Charlotte Bobcats or Phoenix Suns. For the Bobcats, despite starting the season injured, Bennett would probably immediately be the team’s most offensively gifted frontcourt player, if not their most talented big man overall. The same would go for the Suns, who desperately needs to add any talented players to its super weak roster. Look for Bennett to be one of the first five players drafted this year.
Projected Pick: Fourth Overall, Charlotte Bobcats