ESPN's Chad Ford: Anthony Bennett 'Looking Like' Worst No. 1 Pick in 20 Years

Dan FavaleFeatured ColumnistDecember 23, 2013

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Anthony Bennett has been terrible.

How terrible? He's apparently the worst top pick in two decades.

Or so cautions ESPN's Chad Ford.

"It's very early, but right now, he's looking like the worst in the past 20 years," Ford explains, via The Plain Dealer's Jodie Valade. "That includes Greg Oden. Oden was injured all the time, but when he played, he at least looked like a No. 1 pick."

Band-Aids can be found down Aisle 2, Mr. Bennett. You're going to need a dozen industrial-sized boxes to dress the wounds Ford inflicts.

Stock up on some Mad Libs while you're at checkout, too. You'll need a distraction for when you realize Ford is totally serious and completely justified.

Bennett is averaging 2.2 points and two rebounds on 27.7 percent shooting in 20 games this season. He's only logging 10 minutes a night, but that's because he hasn't given the Cleveland Cavaliers any reasons to play him more.

It took Bennett five games to nail his first shot of the year. That's about the level of play Jason Kidd demonstrated near the end of his career. 

In those four previous games, Bennett's stat line looked a little something like this:

Those are some pretty depressing numbers. 

They also make his continued struggles far from surprising. There was an initial shock, but if he was off to a historically bad start, then it's only fitting that he should find himself the subject of notorious draft busts now.

"Still early" isn't a good enough excuse anymore. "Bust" may be a strong label, but Bennett is well on his way to deserving such a tag.

The last rookie to average under three points and 2.1 rebounds while connecting on fewer than 30 percent of his shots in at least 10 minutes per game for an entire season was Craig Brackins in 2010-11. He's no longer in the NBA.

Before him, there was Will Blalock, drafted 60th overall in 2006. He fizzled out after just one season. 

See where I'm going with this?

"Hopeless" isn't an adequate word to describe Bennett. There is still time for him to turn things around. He had shoulder surgery over the offseason, and any lingering effects could be negatively impacting his play. But hope is waning.

"I’m just as surprised as everyone else," Bennett said of being drafted first overall, per the New York Times' Benjamin Hoffman.

Something tells me Bennett's surprise, then, will be surpassed by this one—the realization that he could be the worst No. 1 pick in 20 years.


All stats used courtesy of Basketball-Refence unless otherwise noted.