Note: I wrote this before the Wizards moved up in the draft.
This is a series on NBA Draft Prospects that the Washington Wizards might be interested in. This will be a very important off season for the Wizards as next year heads will roll if the team doesn't meet expectations.the first can be found here and the second here.. Up next Anthony Bennett.
Age: 20 (3/14/93)
One of the things that Wall abd Beal say the Wizards need is a stretch 4. The best guy in the draft for that is Anthony Bennett. Even though he is from Brampton, Ontario, Canada, he may be an offensive part that turn the Wizards into a humming machine.
Where do I start. There is a lot to like about Bennett, but also plenty to worry about. Offensively he could bring a whole new dimension. He is great finishing in the paint and he has a good shot that has range out to the 3 line. He might be a bit of a shot jacker, but if he stay in the confines of the team he could be a huge piece. One part of his offensive game that is missing is his lack of a post game. That wouldn't be the worst think of the Wizards though as he could be match up with NeNe or Seraphin. His range would help spacing and make everyone else better. He also has a wide variety of ways to score. He could really benefit from playing with Wall, Beal, and NeNe. Another big Plus in his favor is his offensive rebounding. One the the things that caries over best from college to NBA is rebounding.
Fear the Sword's Sam Vecenie had this to say about him.
"But really, Bennett's offensive game is extremely strong for a freshman. His touch around the rim is very strong (73% there), plus he's got range out to about 22 feet. From beyond the three-point line, Bennett shot 38% on about 100 attempts, so his range is very legitimate. Along with that, he gets a lot of put-back points on offensive rebounding, where his long arms and strong sense of positioning gives him a chance to get easy points around the basket. This will be an effective tool that he needs to carry over to the NBA. He's can throw down dunks with the best of them, showing off power that few prospects can match. Finally, he gets to the line at an excellent rate, taking the fifth-most free throws in the Mountain West..."
I know many will have problems with his height, but I think his 7'1 wingspan makes up for that. The main red flag I have with this guy is his defense. Defense is about effort and taking pride in stopping your opponent. I don't see that and it worries me. I am not sure his offense is enough to make up for this. Obviously I think he has the tools to be a good defender I just don't know that he wants it.
"His overall rebounding acumen is solid overall, too. He shows excellent box-out technique for a young player, and he uses his low center of gravity to push players out of the way. Also, he has excellent hands to snatch all of the balls that come his way. This is the skill that he should be able to hang his hat in the NBA and continue to be an effective player as his career progresses."
It isn't up to me but if Bennett is available I would go for him. I have to think he would buy in to the culture of the team and defend. At least I would hope so. If he plays defense with pride and intelligence, he could be the steal of the draft.
Edit: After moving up in the draft. I don't think it would be wise for the Wizards to go for Bennett. I am so afraid of things that look like red flags to me. He wants to be more of a 3, doesn't give a care to defense, and loves to jack up shots. If the front office can real him in ok, but to me he is a huge gamble that can set the franchise back.