Anthony Bennett to Fenerbahce: Latest Contract Details, Comments and Reaction

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJanuary 12, 2017

TORONTO, CANADA - DECEMBER 20: Anthony Bennett #13 of the Brooklyn Nets shoots a free throw against the Toronto Raptors on December 20, 2016 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. 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 Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)
Ron Turenne/Getty Images

Anthony Bennett, who hasn't lived up to his potential as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft, will continue his basketball career with Fenerbahce in Turkey, Nikos Varlas of Eurohoops.net reported Thursday.

Citing "sources close to the situation," Varlas noted Bennett's deal will keep him in Turkey through at least the rest of the season.

This comes after the Brooklyn Nets waived the forward Monday, per Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical.

Varlas noted Fenerbahce general manager Maurizio Gherardini is a member of Canada's Basketball Council of Excellence. Bennett was the first Canadian player to be drafted with the first pick in the NBA draft and is also a member of Canada's national team, so there is a connection with the organization.

The Cleveland Cavaliers selected Bennett with the first pick in the 2013 draft but shipped him to the Minnesota Timberwolves after just one season along with Andrew Wiggins as part of the trade package that brought in Kevin Love.

Bennett has played for the Cavaliers, Timberwolves, Toronto Raptors and Nets throughout his NBA career, averaging 12.6 minutes, 4.4 points and 3.1 rebounds per game over four seasons.

While Bennett indirectly helped Cleveland win a title by helping it acquire Love, he didn't live up to expectations. Cavaliers management likely had visions of the 6'8" frontcourt player working in tandem with guard Kyrie Irving as the franchise looked to return to relevance after LeBron James went to the Miami Heat, but Bennett's lack of production is one reason that didn't happen:

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

He will now have a chance in Europe to prove to NBA teams he is worth another look in the future. It's not as though he doesn't have any talent, considering he averaged 16.1 points and 8.1 rebounds per game for UNLV in 2012-13.

Bennett is also just 23 years old, and Varlas noted Fenerbahce is a title contender in Euroleague.

If the UNLV product performs well in pressure-packed Euroleague games, some NBA team may be willing to make a low-risk signing on someone who initially entered the league as a No. 1 pick.

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