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2013 NBA Draft – #1: Anthony Bennett
Posted By Richard Hardy On June 27, 2013 @ 11:45 pm In Main Page,NBA Draft | No Comments
With the first pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers selected Anthony Bennett from UNLV.
The 6’7 combo forward averaged 16.1 points and 8.1 rebounds his freshman season at UNLV. Bennett was named Mountain West Freshman of the Year and was a Naismith Player of the Year Finalist.
“I’m just as surprised as everybody else,” Bennett said. “I didn’t really have any idea who’s going No. 1 or who was going No. 2. I heard everything was up for grabs. But I’m just real happy, glad that I have this opportunity, and I just got to thank God for everything. … When they said my name. That’s when I knew when it happened. I had no idea before, but like I said, all in God’s work.”
Born in Canada, Bennett becomes the highest drafted Canadian in NBA history. Although comparisons can be made to teammate and fellow Canadian Tristan Thompson, Bennett’s explosiveness combined with his speed and ball-handling ability could allow him to fill the small forward spot that the Cavaliers desperately need.
“I would say I’m pro‑ready, but at the same time there’s a lot of things I need to work on,” Bennett said. “I made it, but I just need to keep working, trying to get a second contract, trying to do well for myself and the team. Just got to keep grinding from here.”
One issue that Cavs fans should be concerned about is that Bennett has a history of injuries. In February, Bennett separated his shoulder. Surgery was performed, but all signs indicate that Bennett is fully healed.
If Bennett hopes to play power forward in the NBA and he wants to crack new Cavaliers coach Mike Brown’s rotation, he’s going to have to work on his post-game and on-the-ball defense.
“I can contribute at the four, at the three,” Bennett said. “You know, there’s things I still need to work on, but I feel like I’m a great teammate, unselfish. I think I can just fit in right away.”
At just 20 years old, Bennett joins a Cavaliers roster that features six players below the age of 25.
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