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Anthony Bennett agrees to non-guaranteed deal with the Suns.
A 24-year-old 6’9″ combo forward who is a former No. 1 overall pick of the Cleveland Cavaliers should be a hot commodity in today’s NBA. But Bennett has had trouble living up to the pressures and expectations of being a No. 1 pick.
Bennett, the top pick from the 2013 draft, has watched as some of his draft mates go on to have some moderate success early in their careers.
Giannis Antetokounmpo (No. 15 pick) was named an All-Star and won the Most Improved Player award, while also making both the All-NBA and All-Defensive Second Team this past season; Rudy Gobert (No. 27) made both the All-NBA Second Team & All-Defensive First Team, and led the league in blocks this past season; CJ McCollum (No. 10) went on to win the Most Improved Player of the Year award in 2016.
Meanwhile, Dennis Schroder (No. 17), Cody Zeller (No. 4), Gorgui Dieng (No. 21), Solomon Hill (No. 23), Allen Crabbe (No. 31), Victor Oladipo (No. 2), Steven Adams (No. 12), Otto Porter (No. 3), Tony Snell (No. 20), Kelly Olynyk (No. 13), Tim Hardaway Jr. (No. 24), Andre Roberson (No. 26) and Mason Plumlee (No. 22) have all gone on to sign huge contract offers within the past year.
Bennett, on the other hand, was traded after his rookie season (to the Minnesota Timberwolves), waived just prior to his third season, signed by a third team (the Toronto Raptors) before being waived again five months later, signed with another team (the Brooklyn Nets) four months later only to be waived once again six months after that.
Just four years after being drafted, Bennett will be on his fifth NBA team, excluding a stint with a Turkish Basketball Super League team earlier this year.
With this being a non-guaranteed deal, it’s uncertain whether or not Bennett will stick with the team. If he does, looking at the current Suns roster, Bennett will likely have to compete for minutes with sophomore Marquese Chriss, T.J. Warren, rookie Josh Jackson, Jared Dudley and Derrick Jones.
After being on so many teams before starting his fifth season and struggling to truly make his mark on any team, this may be Bennett’s final shot at finding an NBA home.
Granted, it’s still possible he winds up having a decent career (NBA or overseas) because he is still just 24, however at this point, it’s extremely unlikely Bennett ever lives up to his billing as a top overall draft pick.