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Better Know a Prospect: Anthony Bennett, F - UNLV

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Anthony Bennett is an athletic power forward that lacks the size and physicality to bang down low. It's rumored that he might be transitioned to small forward in the NBA - a possibility that might make him an intriguing choice for New Orleans.

Ezra Shaw

Bio - Anthony Bennett was born on March 14, 1993 to a single mother who worked two jobs in Toronto. He was a McDonald's All-American in high school and decided to sign with UNLV. In his freshman year, he racked up gaudy offensive statistics and was nominated for the Naismith Award. He plays internationally for the Canadian team and won consecutive bronze medals in the U-16 and U-17 FIBA World Championships.

Offense - Bennett garners attention due largely to his combination of size, athleticism, and shooting ability. While measuring 6'7" and weighing 240 lbs, he can run a fast break and shoot threes (over 38% from beyond the arc). He had an exceptionally efficient season on the offensive end, racking up a 27.6 PER while logging a 58% effective field goal percentage. He has good form on his jumpers, and there's little variation from shot to shot. He can create his own shot, but is definitely more comfortable shooting jumpers and attacking the basket than playing with his back to the rim. He has little in the way of post moves and can't carve out position on the low block.

His biggest offensive concern is his shot selection - he has a tendency to live on the perimeter and chuck threes - if he had better shot selection, he easily could have shot in the 40 percent range in college. In particular, he has a tendency to take contested three pointers early in the shot clock, often when an extra pass could yield a better look for a teammate.

Defense - In the NBA, Anthony Bennett might be impossible to hide on defense. As a post defender, he's weak and undersized, even though he has an impressive 7'1" wingspan. He easily gives up position in the low post, often times being backed down under the hoop. As a pick and roll defender, he doesn't keep his arms up and takes his time to recover back to his man.

While defending the perimeter, he lacks the lateral quickness to stay in front of college players. When closing out jump shooters, he lacks urgency and sometimes fails to put his hand up. And most damningly, he fails to hustle in transition, often loping back on defense after a missed field goal attempt. Either guarding power forwards or small forwards in the NBA, his level of intensity and physicality that he showed in college will get him burned.

Overall - Due to his lack of size and physical presence, it's easy to imagine Bennett sliding to small forward, especially on a Pelicans team that is stacked at power forward. As an offensive player, he would be a clear upgrade from Al-Farouq Aminu from the start, able to shoot efficiently as well as dribble. On defense, he projects to be a significant liability, however, and it's not certain how well he could transition to generating shots against quicker, more athletic defenders.