NBA Draft 2013: Anthony Bennett scouting report

Jeff Bottari

Anthony Bennett is one of the top prospects to come out of UNLV in quite some time, but how high should he go in the 2013 NBA Draft?

SB Nation is posting scouting reports of each prospect in the 2013 NBA Draft. Learn more about UNLV forward Anthony Bennett.

NAME: Anthony Bennett.

SCHOOL: UNLV.

AGE ON DRAFT DAY: 20 years, three months.

POSITION: Combo forward.

MEASUREMENTS: 6'8'', 240 pounds. (Did not get measured at the 2013 NBA Draft combine).

STATS:


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2012 - Anthony Bennett 35 27.1 5.8 10.8 53.3 1.0 2.7 37.5 3.5 5.1 70.1 2.5 5.7 8.1 1.0 1.9 0.7 1.2 2.3 16.1

RELEVANT ADVANCED STATS: 21.8% defensive rebounding percentage this season. As long as Bennett can hold his own on the defensive glass, he can play as a power forward.

SB NATION BIG BOARD POSITION: No. 1.

NBA CEILING: Larry Johnson.

NBA FLOOR: Michael Beasley.

JONATHAN TJARKS' ANALYSIS

Anthony Bennett, the most talented player at UNLV in a generation, wasn't quite able to bring back the magic of the Runnin' Rebels as a freshman. However, that had more to do with the players around him.

Their Mountain West Conference semifinal game against Colorado State sums up their season. Bennett had 11 points in one two-minute stretch, yet he finished with only eight shots compared to 23 for Bryce DeSean-Jones and Katin Reinhardt, two of the most shameless gunners you'll ever see.

This season, Bennett averaged 16 points, eight rebounds and one assist on 53 percent from the field, 38 percent from three-point range and 70 percent from the free-throw line.

These are impressive numbers, but they don't totally reveal how explosive he is offensively. At 6'8, 240 pounds with a 7'2 wingspan, he's a combo forward with the game and athleticism of a high-level wing scorer.

He has range out to the three-point line, the ability to beat his man off the dribble and the explosiveness to play above the rim. When he's hitting from deep, he's essentially impossible to defend. If you put Bennett in a 1-on-1 tournament against the rest of this class, he would win pretty handily.

Of course, basketball isn't a 1-on-1 game, which is where the questions come. Given how rarely the ball moved in the UNLV offense, it's no surprise he was looking to shoot every time he touched it. However, if he's going to be a primary offensive option at the next level, he'll need to facilitate for his teammates more than he did in college.

Like most dominant scorers, Bennett's defense left much to be desired as a freshman. Early in his NBA career, he will give up as many points as he allows. However, the tools are there to become an effective player on that side of the ball.

Down the road, Bennett could give his team the best of both worlds as a small-ball 4. He has the size to match up with bigger 4's on defense and the skill level to play on the perimeter on offense.

As a 20-year-old coming off shoulder surgery, he's far from a finished product, but he has the highest ceiling in this year's draft.

DRAFT EXPRESS SCOUTING REPORT


OTHER SB NATION SCOUTING REPORTS

Mountain West Connection, SB Nation's MWC blog:

If your team is in need of a post player who can score with the dunk or tip-in, you want a guy like Bennett. If your team is in need of a perimeter guy who can drain threes, you want a guy like Bennett. If your team is in need of a physical presence that can block shots with his length and grab his share of defensive rebounds, you want a guy like Bennett.

Bullets Forever:

Bennett is an explosive two-foot jumper with an array of perimeter and post skills that should make scouts drool. His broad, wide shoulders allow him to power through contact, and his soft hands allow him to catch and finish almost any pass around the rim. Watching him, it's immediately clear why he evoked comparisons to [Larry Johnson] from UNLV faithful.

[...]

It's hard to avoid hyperbole here: Bennett might be the single most unaware defensive prospect I've ever seen. There is nothing he does well on this end, and those shortcomings are due entirely to his effort.

Bullets Forever (different author):

Bennett averaged 22 points per pace-adjusted 40 minutes last year while maintaining a high level of efficiency. He scored more frequently than Shabazz Muhammad, Luol Deng, Derrick Williams or Blake Griffin did as freshmen and, again, he did it without any highly-skilled guards to get him the ball in a position to score. While he's not a once-in-a-generation type of scorer, his ability to create shots is being overlooked quite a bit by scouts and commentators. He could very well lead all rookies in scoring and might even be a candidate for Rookie of the Year if he's immediately given about 30 minutes a night.

Rufus on Fire:

Anthony Bennett, UNLV's freshman power forward, is an explosive scorer who plays both inside and out utilizing his above-average ball-handling skills and smooth stroke from outside with great mastery. He's an ambidextrous scorer with a great dribble-drive game and a superb touch around the rim. He uses his athleticism to bang down low, grabbing offensive rebounds and drawing free throws at a high rate. The 6'7" forward may appear to be undersized for his position, but his 7'1" wingspan begs to differ. Regardless, Bennett still struggles mightily on the defensive end, due to both a lack of effort and awareness. He reminds me of a less athletic version of Blake Griffin with a consistent jumper.

Canis Hoopus:

Bennett scores well on the models and draws some intriguing comparisons, but I subjectively dock him more points than any other player. Bennett has an abysmal defensive reputation and looks like a poor man's version of the Beasley, Derrick Williams, "Big Dog" ... class of players who have historically done really well in my models but not in the NBA. I would have a tough time passing on him after the 10th pick or so, but I really worry about his bust potential in the top 5.

Liberty Ballers:

I like his upside, but I also think he has more bust potential than anyone in the top 5, and it's not close. I see the draft comparisons and think not of Carmelo Anthony or Zach Randolph but of Derrick Williams. I'm not sure Williams is a true bust yet, but his career resembles Evan Turner's to date.

I could easily be wrong. Bennett is very athletic and can shoot, and if those skills translate well from the Mountain West to the NBA, a team can have a potential all-star.

Detroit Bad Boys:

He's a nice piece and the Pistons have a spot for his talents. However, he is clearly a second-tier talent. He isn't top five among potential draft picks in any one category. I think he'll be a pretty competent player, but I can't get excited over him.

For more coverage, visit SB Nation's NBA Draft 2013 section.

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