Cleveland Cavaliers rookie forward Anthony Bennett has played better as of late, but for the season, his performance has been less than inspiring. As a result, Forbes has named Bennett the NBA’s sixth most overpaid. From the Forbes article, written by Tom Van Riper:
The Cavs confounded many draft experts by taking Bennett with the first overall pick last summer after he’d played one season at UNLV. Time will tell whether the 20-year-old develops, but for now the numbers are brutal enough (3.4 points, 29.9% shooting) to keep him on the bench most of the time. The guy who drafted him, Cleveland GM Chris Grant, was just let go.
New York Knicks forward/center Andrea Bargnani topped the list, while Carlos Boozer of the Chicago Bulls and Ben Gordon of the Charlotte Hornets rounded out the top three. The rankings are based on a calculated numbers of winds produced and were designed by University of Southern Utah economics professor David Berri. Bargnani’s teammate, Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, was deemed the league’s most overpaid player a season ago.
As for Bennett, the rookie is showing shines of life after a horrid start and is also looking to be in much better shape. Our own Trevor Magnotti recently wrote about his turnaround:
He also seems to be running with more of a spring in his step, and his activity on the defensive end has definitely increased. This also could explain the improvement in his shooting, because he’s starting to get more lift in his jumper, and he’s appeared to look a little stronger at the rim, even though he’s not hitting a great percentage from there.
Another big reason is the lineups the team is using Bennett with. Part of the reason Bennett has been bad could be that the Cavs haven’t used him with the same players very often, throwing him into hodge podge bench units that lack consistency. This is evidenced by the fact that Bennett’s most used 5-man lineup is STILL the lineup of Jarrett Jack, Alonzo Gee, C.J. Miles, Bennett and Andrew Bynum, a lineup that was used for five games at the start of the season and fizzled out quickly because Bennett and Gee were a horrible pairing together and Bynum got promoted to the starting lineup. However, since the New Orleans game, the Cavs have found some places to use Bennett consistently.