Former NBA Draft bust Anthony Bennett: ‘I feel I have the last laugh’

Anthony Bennett Timberwolves
Feb 11, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves forward Anthony Bennett (24) drives to the basket past Golden State Warriors forward David Lee (10) in the second half at Target Center. The Warriors won 94-91. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The professional basketball career of 2013 No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett has not gone according to plan. From 2013-2017, he played with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Toronto Raptors and Brooklyn Nets.

He finished the 2017 season playing with the Turkish Basketball Super League team Fenerbache, which won the EuroLeague title. But as Jason Gonzalez of the Star Tribune detailed, “The 24-year-old forward played just 72 seconds in the title game and did not score.”

But in the build up to that game, Bennett expressed confidence in himself.

“I feel I have the last laugh,” he said to reporters, per Gonzalez. I just turned 24 years old, lot of time left.”

Any hopes of Bennett mounting a comeback rests on the fact that he is young and has time to improve. His time has a professional has given essentially no indication that Bennett can be a viable NBA contributor, however.

In his NBA career, Bennett averaged 4.4 points and 3.1 rebounds per game. While he did win a EuroLeague championship, his contribution was minimal. In addition to playing only sparingly in the championship game, Bennett played little in the game’s leading up to it.

In 10 games for Fenerbache, Bennett played only 6.3 minutes a game, averaging 1.2 points and 0.9 rebounds. He wouldn’t be the only player to find his form in his mid-20s, but most of those players at least show occasional glimpses of how good they can be before making a big impact. Bennett has done nothing of the kind.

There’s nothing wrong with being optimistic, but Bennett has to be realistic, as well. If he’s going to get back to the NBA (let alone be a top tier player), his game needs an awful lot of work.

Michael Dixon
Bay Area born and raised, I have extensive experience in both the print and online worlds. There are few things in this world I love doing more than talking sports.