The 2013 NBA draft is officially underway, and the Cleveland Cavaliers have selected Anthony Bennett of the UNLV Rebels with the first overall draft choice.
This was a surprising move. The basketball community had speculated that the Cavaliers would go with Alex Len or Nerlens Noel. Instead, the Cavaliers shocked the world and took Bennett at No. 1.
A stunning turn of events, to say the least.
Whoa. Anthony Bennett?! Does that mean we have a trade?!— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) June 27, 2013
No, we don't.
Cleveland will keep Anthony Bennett. No trade per Cavs.— Andy Katz (@ESPNAndyKatz) June 27, 2013
How's that for a gutsy move?
Bennett is an upside-ridden player who stands at 6'8" and 240 pounds with a 7'1" wingspan. Not only does Bennett project to be a dynamic power forward, but he has the versatility to play the 3 and spread the floor with his three-point shooting.
Still, some questioned why the pick would be made.
The Cavaliers currently have Tristan Thompson under contract, thus suggesting that the power forward position is set for the future. With Bennett's versatility, however, comes the possibility that he could play along the perimeter.
Some aren't sold.
So the Cavs just picked a guy whose team didn't make a basket for 12 straight minutes in the NCAA Tournament. WOW— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) June 27, 2013
The flack didn't end there, as many Twitter personalities attacked this selection and the overall ability Bennett possesses. While some may question if he's good enough to go No. 1, others are debating whether or not he's good enough to be a star.
It's a cold, cold world.
Good news for #Cavaliers, Anthony Bennett isn't good enough to opt out in 3 years.— Peter Burns (@PeterBurnsRadio) June 27, 2013
Fortunately, some took to Twitter to defend Bennett.
While Bennett may not be the biggest name in the draft, he is a favorite of statisticians across the NBA. He may not be the most impressive player from a perspective of basic statistics, but his advanced metrics impressed.
Twitter took note.
Bennett was always high on the board based on the analytics.— Probasketballdraft (@Probballdraft) June 27, 2013
The number-crunchers weren't the only party that appeared to be interested in Bennett.
The Cavaliers infamously fired head coach Mike Brown after one of their peak seasons, but they recently re-hired him. Brown, notorious for systematic basketball and a value of the analytics, reportedly loved Bennett all along.
Plain and simple, it was all about talent.
Anthony Bennett was a favorite of coach Mike Brown, and he goes to Cleveland with the No. 1 pick.— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) June 27, 2013
Hate it or love it, Anthony Bennett is your top pick.