By Sean Kennedy (@PhillyFastBreak)
With the news yesterday that the Minnesota Timberwolves are working on a buyout with 3rd-year forward Anthony Bennett, speculation naturally arose for Philadelphia as a potential landing spot. After all, the Sixers and Blazers are the only two teams with the cap space to claim Bennett before he clears waivers, and Philadelphia as become a hub of sorts for young players to receive actual playing time and strength their image (see: Thomas Robinson, Ish Smith).
The question is: would you even want the Sixers to claim Bennett? Forget the fact that the Sixers would be on the hook for his $5.8M this season and would likely pick up his team option for $7.3M next year (they’re not picking him up and then giving up on him prior to the Oct. 31 deadline). Philadelphia’s books are relatively bare and absorbing that money would be no problem; remember, the team is still paying JaVale McGee $12M this year just because they wanted an extra late first-round pick.
No, the real concern is whether Bennett’s play would even warrant a roster spot. Which is crazy to think about given that he was the first overall pick in the draft just 2 years ago. Quickly, here’s the 2 sides of the argument for acquiring Bennett:
Pro: He’s still just 22 years old, and while taking him first overall was a huge reach by the Cavaliers, Bennett was a consensus late lottery talent. He also performed well for Team Canada this summer in the FIBA Americas, shooting 64.7% on two-point field goals and 43.8% from downtown in 10 games.
Con: Bennett has been an absolute trainwreck against NBA competition. Even under best-case circumstances for Bennett, his only plus-attribute is as a scorer, and he’s been one of the least-efficient scorers in the league.
Of 466 players with >=500 FGA & 75 3PA during first 2 seasons, Anthony Bennett’s eFG% ranks…458th. Also: Hi, Ricky. pic.twitter.com/pn0Nlq7l0Q
— Hardwood Knocks (@HardwoodKnocks) September 21, 2015
With an already full frontcourt, bringing on Bennett would mean cutting ties with someone like Furkan Aldemir or Christian Wood. So what do you think, Sixers fans? Should the Sixers make the move?