Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
The Cavaliers shocked the world again, selecting UNLV forward Anthony Bennett first overall.
The rationale for Cavaliers general manager Chris Grant was simple. He believed that the 19-year old Bennett was the best player in the draft, stating, "He was one of those guys when you walked out of the gym when you saw him play, you kind of went, 'Wow.' " (via cleveland.com)
It's easy to see why Grant was impressed with the 6'8" Bennett, who averaged 16.1 points and 8.1 rebounds per game in his freshman season at UNLV. He is a great offensive player, a more than capable scorer who can take his shot out to three-point range. This past season he also showed that he has excellent rebounding abilities.
However, there are concerns that come with Bennett.
There are worries about the weight that he gained while rehabbing a shoulder injury, but Bennett himself said the weight gain has been exaggerated (via ohio.com).
He is considered a bit of a "tweener," as his size and game put him between a small forward and a power forward. However, Grant stated in a post-draft interview with NBA.com that he expects Bennett to play power forward, even with Tristan Thompson already the starter at that position.
Whether he starts or comes off the bench, Bennett should make an immediate impact with the Cavaliers. With Thompson and Anderson Varejao doing the bulk of the team's scoring in the paint, Bennett will be able to stretch the floor when he does play because of his shooting abilities. He also could have the chance to play some at small forward but will have to improve his defense to get that opportunity.
In a draft where up to six players could have justifiably been selected first overall, it's hard to come up with a grade. But provided Bennett's potential to be an excellent scorer with great rebounding abilities—as well as the growth that will come as he matures—this was a good pick for the Cavaliers.