After leaving the NBA for the Turkish Basketball Super League, Anthony Bennett is looking to make a return. Drafted first overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2013, Bennett is widely considered to be one of the biggest busts in league history. Now, he’ll get a shot at cracking the Phoenix Suns‘ roster after agreeing to a non-guaranteed contract, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical.
Former No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett has signed a non-guaranteed deal with the Phoenix Suns, league sources tell The Vertical.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 22, 2017
To say it’s been a rough career for Bennett is a massive understatement. He spent four seasons in the NBA, each with a different team. He’s made just four career starts while appearing in a total of 151 games. His career per-game averages of 4.4 points, 3.1 rebounds, and an ugly 39.2 shooting percentage leave plenty to be desired.
On the bright side, Phoenix’s front-court could certainly benefit from some added depth. Players like Dragan Bender and Marquese Chriss are still incredibly raw prospects that don’t play very heavy minutes. Tyson Chandler will soon turn 35, so his playing time should begin to decline as well. Bennett may not be the best option, but there might be room for him on the Suns.
Despite actually being cut by his Turkish team, Bennett still believes his best playing days have yet to come. While that doesn’t seem too likely, he hasn’t set the bar very high in his previous NBA action.
However, there’s a reason he was drafted first overall by the Cavs. As a freshman at UNLV during the 2012-13 season, Bennett averaged 16.1 points and 8.1 rebounds per game, along with a much more enticing 53.3 shooting percentage. He even made 37.5 percent of his 2.7 three-point attempts per game, a skill that seemingly vanished at the next level.
The timer on Anthony Bennett’s career is winding down quickly. Assuming he makes the Suns roster, it would be his fifth different team in five career NBA seasons. While he most likely won’t get many minutes, and almost certainly no starts, Bennett has to use this season to prove that he’s still a capable role player in the NBA.