Anthony Bennett Waived by Nets: Latest Comments and Reaction

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJanuary 9, 2017

BROOKLYN, NY - NOVEMBER 29:  Anthony Bennett #13 of the Long Island Nets during the game against the Windy City Bulls during on November 29, 2016 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

The Brooklyn Nets waived forward Anthony Bennett on Monday, per Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. 

Marc Stein of ESPN cited league sources who confirmed the move and said the Nets will sign Quincy Acy in place of the 2013 No. 1 overall pick.

Bennett played 23 games this season for the Nets and averaged 5.0 points and 3.4 rebounds per night.

Mike Mazzeo of ESPN.com wrote the Nets "came away impressed" after they worked out Bennett during the offseason. Mazzeo also noted Brooklyn "needs to find diamonds in the rough" since it "does not have total control over its own first-round pick until 2019."

Bennett did not turn out to be that gem and was lost in Brooklyn's rotation at 11.5 minutes per game.

The Cleveland Cavaliers drafted Bennett with the first pick four years ago with the hope he would join forces with Kyrie Irving and help the franchise recover from LeBron James' decision to head to the Miami Heat. While things worked out fine for Cleveland in the long run thanks largely to James' return, Bennett was a disappointment nearly right away.

He appeared in 52 games as a rookie and averaged just 4.2 points and 3.0 rebounds per game behind 35.6 percent shooting from the field. He was then sent to the Minnesota Timberwolves alongside Andrew Wiggins in the trade that brought Kevin Love to Cleveland, and he was slightly better from a statistical standpoint.

Still, he never turned heads as an impact player for the Cavaliers, Timberwolves, Toronto Raptors or Nets:

Anthony Bennett's Career Per-Game Statistics
SeasonTeamGamesPointsReboundsBlocksField-Goal Percentage
2013-14Cleveland Cavaliers524.23.00.235.6
2014-15Minnesota Timberwolves575.23.80.342.1
2015-16Toronto Raptors191.51.20.029.6
2016-17Brooklyn Nets235.03.40.141.3
Source: ESPN.com

It is not a stretch to suggest another team will take a chance on Bennett since he is just 23 years old and did enough to warrant being a No. 1 selection out of UNLV. However, any such move would ignore the fact he has never fulfilled his potential as a difference-maker on the floor.

As for Acy, he has appeared in 225 career games for the Raptors, Sacramento Kings, New York Knicks and Dallas Mavericks since the Raptors selected him in the second round of the 2012 draft out of Baylor.

He averaged 4.5 points and 3.5 rebounds in those contests, but he made an impression this season as a rim-protector for the Mavericks' NBA D-League affiliate, the Texas Legends:

Considering Brooklyn (8-28) is a mere 27th in the league in defensive efficiency rating, per NBA.com, it could use all of the defensive help it can get, even if that means giving up on the former top pick.

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