For the second time in three years, the Cleveland Cavaliers held the first pick in the NBA draft. The only difference? They decided to shock everybody and take Anthony Bennett from UNLV, who wasn’t on anyone’s list of top five players available in the draft beforehand. Congratulations to Bennett, the first Canadian born player taken at number one. This year was weird because it was not regarded as a great draft in terms of superstar potential. Then again, nobody knows how great this draft will be until at least 3 to 4 years down the line when there is something to be assessed. Bennett was such a shocking pick at #1, so much that the ESPN personalities who were covering it actually were shocked, oohing and awing. “I’m just as shocked as everybody else,” a humbled Bennett said afterwards.
Watching film of Bennett’s freshman year shows that he has tremendous upside, but his game needs more polishing. Perhaps the Cavs should have taken someone such as Kansas’ guard, Ben McLemore, who looks the part to have an impact right away. For a team that has missed the playoffs for the last three years since the departure of you know who, success is critical this year. They must make the playoffs this year to show progress, or fans will show a lot more animosity towards the franchise and the people who make the decisions than in years past. I believe the Cavs were better off taking a sure fire prospect, the risk at number 1 is too immense to fail. Two years ago, the Cavs got it right with Kyrie Irving, who in my estimation, is already a top 5 or 6 point guard in the league. He must be surrounded by better talent and must have a taste of the playoffs this season! Or else the end will be the same, and he’ll pack his bags and leave town. That must be avoided at all costs.
Finally, let’s actually talk about the man himself, Anthony Bennett. He measures in at 6’7, with a monster body. You already can tell he’s a physical specimen who’s always looking to rough it up inside the paint. Watching highlights, his offensive game is very good, but can be improved. Defensively, he’ll definitely have to work a lot harder to keep up in this league. Definite star potential here, let’s just wish the Canadian the best, eh? Only time will tell how this pick works out for Cleveland. The main thing we look for this year is: progress and more progress. Remember Cleveland Sports’ fans, patience is a virtue. Maybe someday we’ll know what they were thinking. Hopefully, they had a gold trophy in mind.
- NBA Draft 2013: Anthony Bennett Highlights (whosesportsblog.com)
- VIDEO: Cleveland Cavaliers choose Anthony Bennett as first NBA draft 2013 pick (3news.co.nz)