Anthony Bennett is having one of the worst rookie seasons of all time, and now he's expressed openness to a trip down to the D-League for some valuable game action he hasn't received consistently at the NBA level.
A No. 1 overall pick has never before been sent down to the NBA's developmental ground, but Bennett said he would be open to an assignment, reports Mary Schmitt Boyer of the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
"It's something I'd think about, for sure," Bennett said before Tuesday's game. "It's not a bad thing, especially going down there, hopefully playing a lot, going out there, building my confidence."
"It's a learning process, and all I can do is just work hard, you know?'' he said. "I'm just patient. I missed the whole summer due to the surgery, so I'm kind of behind in everything, trying to catch up on everything. Like I said before, the only thing I can really do is work hard. It doesn't show much in the games, but in practice I've been going hard. My conditioning is a lot better. I lost weight and everything. So it's coming along slowly.''
"Slowly" is the right term to use. Bennett is having a terrible season, averaging just 2.4 points and 2.2 rebounds in roughly 10 minutes per game. He's shooting just 26.9 percent from the floor and taking far too many jumpers for a guy with his size and athleticism. The Cavs have been avoiding the idea of sending him down — like lottery picks Hasheem Thabeet and, this year, Shabazz Muhammad before him — but the time might come soon.
Bennett did have a rough offseason that set him significantly behind the curve, but we're now halfway through the NBA season and the results just haven't been there. And with Luol Deng now in tow, minutes may be even more difficult to come by.