2013 NBA Draft Prospect Profile: UNLV's Anthony Bennett

Yup that's Canada for you - Jeff Bottari

Let's take a look at another potential top-three overall selection in the NBA Draft, the best power forward on the board: UNLV's Anthony Bennett.

Anthony Bennett--The best pure power forward prospect for this year's draft class. Due to his massive size, he could probably play defensive end on UNLV's football team. Bennett has fully benefited by finishing his high school career at Findlay Prep, a well known basketball powerhouse, and is another one of Canada's powerhouse prospects. It wouldn't be a surprise if Bennett found his way into the top spot in the 2013 Draft after a strong combine season.

Check out Bennett's stats here:

Bennett, who measured at 6-foot-7 at the Nike Hoop Summit, is a little undersized for the power forward position at the elite level, but his athleticism, leaping ability, strong 239 lb frame, and 7-foot-1 wingspan definitely make up for it. He becomes a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses and can continue to be one at the next level.

NBA Comparison: Paul Millsap

Strengths:

  • Imposing physical specimen, huge hands, shoulders and mid-section that allows for emphatic slams
  • Very athletic and imposing frame, giant wingspan at 7-foot-1
  • One of the most versatile big men you'll see during a freshman campaign in college
  • Capable of scoring around the paint at a rate of 74%, has developed a faceup midrange shot, converts one three point attempt per contest, shot 32% from the arc, 40% from the left side of the floor
  • Tremendous ball handler for his position, puts the ball on the floor and creates for himself and others
  • Doesn't turn the ball over often
  • Constantly makes mismatches: overpowers smaller defenders, faster than bigger opponents
  • Adept at drawing fouls when contact is made
  • Favors the right side of the floor, 60% of the time he'll use tip-ins, dunks, and reverse lay-ins
  • Very nice shooting stroke, good release
  • Extremely efficient and productive, if he played 40 minutes per game he would only turn the ball over twice and would average 26.2 points per game based on this season's stats
  • Good free throw shooter, averaged 75% on the season
  • Huge room for improvement defensively but can make plays when dialed in, has a keen knack of blocking shots, gets his hands on loose balls, has good lateral quickness and great anticipation

Weaknesses:

  • A bit undersized to guard true power forwards in the NBA
  • Quick enough to guard the 4 but to slow to guard the 3 at the next level
  • Could potentially be injury prone after a high school career that was riddled with injuries
  • Doesn't play with enough toughness on the court
  • Defensively he has to grow to become superb at the NBA level, leaves his stance defensively, looks like he's only going half speed a lot of times down the floor, loses focus easily
  • Regularly gives up deep position in the post
  • Constantly loses track of his matchups defensively
  • Needs to maximize his fundamentals on the defensive side of the ball
  • Seems like his conditioning needs the most work, if made to be even average his skills could improve a surprising amount
  • Lacks intensity at times
  • Doesn't really crash the boards defensively, allows rebounds to fall to him even though he averaged eight boards per game
  • Appears disinterested defensively

Draft Projection: 1st Round, Pick #1 to the Charlotte Bobcats-to-#4 Phoenix Suns

Bennett is a great prospect offensively for any team that's lacking a cog in the frontcourt. Should he get selected first by the Bobcats he would be a great fit for a struggling roster (as would any top-10 pick for the Bobcats). If he falls to the Cavaliers, the decision making becomes strange on what the frontcourt would look like between a returning Anderson Varejao, Tristan Thompson, and others. Falling to the Suns, Bennett could make a hybrid frontcourt between Luis Scola, himself and Michael Beasley.

Bennett is an unusual combination of Millsap and Zach Randolph due to his ability to shoot anywhere on the floor. Depending on where he falls, he could come into a system and start immediately or become a role player for a while. Regardless, Bennett may turn into a prospect that has a long future in the NBA.

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