NBA teams hoping to get a look at Anthony Bennett before the draft will have to wait until he is healthy.
According to David Aldridge of NBA.com, the power forward will be out four months due to surgery on his rotator cuff:
David Aldridge @daldridgetnt
Sources: UNLV forward Anthony Bennett out 4 months. Surgery on left rotator cuff tomorrow. Story up soon on http://t.co/tv9kc4RaeA5/7/2013, 6:04:33 PM
This is quite a blow to a player rated as the No. 4 overall prospect in the 2013 class, according to ESPN's Chad Ford (membership required).
Bennett declared for the NBA draft last month after one year at UNLV, where he averaged 16.1 points and 8.1 rebounds per contest.
The freshman was the leader on a team that won 25 games and received a No. 5 seed in the NCAA tournament. While the Rebels lost to California in the opening game, Bennett still totaled 15 points and 11 rebounds in the defeat.
He is looking to move on to the NBA, a place in which his elite skills should translate nicely to the next level. Not only is he a productive inside scorer with exceptional mobility for his size, but he can also shoot from the outside, evident based on his 37.5-percent shooting from long range last season.
This versatility is certain to make Bennett a high pick regardless of his injury issues.
Missing four months will prevent him from being able to display his athleticism at pre-draft workouts. However, a return to full health near the start of the regular season is much more important, both for him and his future team.
Additionally, Bennett will not lose ground to a pair of fellow highly rated big men who are also out with various injuries. Alex Len is recovering from ankle surgery, while Nerlens Noel has been out since midseason with a torn ACL.
Hopefully, the UNLV forward is able to recover quickly and provide help to his next team as soon as possible.