Word arrived on Friday evening that former top draft pick Anthony Bennett will join the Houston Rockets at least for training camp. Bennett will get a chance to make his return to the league after failing to impress in his NBA days, but excelling over the past three seasons in the G League.
Here are more details about the Anthony Bennett Rockets situation including his G League stats and highlights ahead of the potential comeback.
Bennett was former Cavs No. 1 pick
The Cleveland Cavaliers have a relatively good history of making some great picks at the No. 1 spot in the NBA Draft. They’ve included All-Stars LeBron James and Kyrie Irving.
However, Anthony Bennett was not considered to be one of those picks. The Cavs drafted him No. 1 back in 2013 after a season at UNLV. While he was the top pick, he didn’t exactly live up to the lofty expectations that come with that position.
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) June 28, 2013
Bennett certainly had some hype and potential after college. With UNLV he averaged 16.1 points and just over eight rebounds a game in 35 games played. He averaged 27 minutes or so per contest in college but had limited minutes on the professional level.
He spent four seasons in the league, each with a different NBA team. However, his best averages were 5.2 points and 3.8 rebounds a game.
That came in his second season with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Bennett would play for the Toronto Raptors and the Brooklyn Nets before exiting after the 2016-17 season.
On Friday night, Shams Charania tweeted out that Bennett agreed to a non-guaranteed deal with the Rockets.
Anthony Bennett getting another shot in the NBA. 🚀 pic.twitter.com/oexnkWH4hn
— theScore (@theScore) July 13, 2019
Now he’ll be on the NBA comeback trail as the Houston Rockets are giving him a training camp contract. That will let him show his skills and see if he can impress enough to gain a spot on the Rockets’ roster.
They’ve been building it up in just the past day or so thanks to a Russell Westbrook trade and Tyson Chandler signing. The addition of Bennett could help with some extra roster depth.
G League stats, highlights favorable for NBA return
Bennett spent his past three seasons playing basketball with the G League’s Agua Caliente Clippers. The 6-foot-8, 245-pound forward had averages of 12.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game in the 2018-19 season.
He achieved exceptional stats playing for the Long Island Nets in his 2016-17 campaign. According to his G League profile, Bennett averaged 18 points, eight rebounds, 3.5 assists, two steals, and one block per game.
In one of his most impressive outing this past season, Bennett put up a career-high of 36 points against the Austin Spurs. Bennett has also become an exceptional three-point shooter for his team in the NBA’s minor league.
Five months ago, the G League rolled out a full video checking in at seven minutes. It showed off some of Anthony Bennett’s highlights with the Agua Caliente Clippers for the 2018-19 season.
At age 26 along with his size and experience, he’s certainly got some potential to give the Rockets a boost. They’ll be looking for additional depth at the power forward spot and Bennett can certainly help fill that need.
Rockets fans are certainly hoping the former No. 1 pick can show some of the reasons he was deserving of that selection years ago.
He’ll have a potential mentor too, current Rockets roster member Clint Capela formerly played in the G League with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
Other standout players who were in G League and have done well at the NBA level include Terry Rozier, Pascal Siakam, and All-Star Khris Middleton.