In the pre-game media availability before tonight’s game against the Washington Wizards, Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Mike Brown was asked if the D-League was an option for Anthony Bennett, the first overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.
”You got to ask Chris (Grant).” Brown is referring to the general manager of the Cavs.
Perhaps presumptuous to read into Brown’s comments, they certainly do not breed a lot of confidence in Bennett right now. The Cavs believe in Bennett’s talent, but there are a few issues that have given him problems early in the year. The biggest two are Bennett’s weight and his confidence.
Bennett’s size is a huge plus as he is just an enormous player at power forward. The problem is that Bennett is also overweight and it has really impacted his explosiveness, which was a big reason he was so successful in college at UNLV. Bennett was brought in for his ability to score points and give the Cavs some more explosive offense. There was also some hope that he might be able to play as a small forward. Based on what he has done so far, playing the three is impossible. It remains to be seen what an in-shape Bennett would look like that in spot.
The other issue for Bennett is his confidence. He has not looked comfortable in the early going after showing some good signs in the NBA Summer League, where he was able to put up points. Some of that might have been based on his size and just being too big for opponents to stop and perhaps the D-League and a stint with the Canton Charge could work to give him a quick boost.
The Cavs are pretty happy with Bennett’s ability on defense and in that respect, he has been ahead of schedule, but the Cavs have a ton of bigs that can play defense and they need him to be an offensive threat, especially with where he was picked. Nevertheless, the Cavs are preaching patience and looking at what Tristan Thompson has been from the start of his career to this year, they can be comfortable with that for the time being.