Over the years, the Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired some major stars via the number one pick in the NBA Draft.
For example, a certain young man from Ohio named LeBron James did pretty well in the league.
However, they haven’t all been slam dunks and some number one pick selections have ended up being cautionary tales.
9 YEARS AGO TODAY
Cavs drafted Anthony Bennett with the 1st pick
◾ CJ McCollum (10)
◾ ROY MCW (11)
◾ 2 x MVP Giannis (15)
◾ 3 x DPOY Rudy Gobert (27)
◾ Seth Curry & R. Covington (undrafted)
Cavs ended up with the 1st pick AGAIN the following year (3rd time in 4 years) pic.twitter.com/ioiPFkG40K
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) June 27, 2022
Today, fans of the Cavaliers remember one of those cautionary tales as they mark the ninth anniversary of their team drafting Anthony Bennett.
In picking Bennett, Cleveland passed over CJ McCollum, who went as the number ten pick, Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Rudy Gobert, Seth Curry, Robert Covington, and more.
What went wrong with Bennett?
Is he really one of the biggest draft busts of all time?
Bennett The Bust
Bennett seemed like the real deal when Cleveland was sizing him up before the draft.
They thought he was going to be exactly what the team needed.
The UNLV prospect came in at 6-foot-8 and 245 pounds.
They thought he would be a start player in terms of both offense and defense – think a faster, smaller Shaquille O’Neal.
But that’s not how it panned out.
The player only averaged 4.4 points, 3.1 rebounds, and .5 assists in his career and was held back by injuries and a sense that he didn’t really want to be there.
Sure enough, after just a couple of seasons it looked like Bennett was no longer interested in playing professional ball.
He bounced around the league a bit, to the Timberwolves and then the Raptors and finally the Nets, before he retired from the NBA.
There was so much potential for Bennett on the Cavaliers and fans were sure he was going to be a superstar.
He wasn’t and thinking back on his short career today is a bit painful.