May 8, 2013, 8:00 AM EDT
UNLV forward Anthony Bennett is projected to be one of the top five picks in this year’s NBA draft, he’s a guy who could step in and give some quality minutes next season
But news came out Tuesday night that could give teams pause.
Bennett will undergo surgery to repair the rotator cuff in his left shoulder and that will keep him out for about four months, his agent announced (thanks to CollegeBasketballTalk for the heads up). That means no pre-draft workouts, no Summer League, and a few more questions heading into the draft night.
Bennett is the second lottery pick to undergo surgery — Alex Len of Maryland had ankle surgery recently and also will be out likely until around the start of the next NBA season.
In what is generally regarded as a weak draft he may not fall far if at all. One GM told ESPN’s Chad Ford he still wouldn’t hesitate to take Bennett in the Top 5 because he knows the guy can contribute next year and has a high ceiling.
Bennett, 6’7” is a power forward who is long and was a beast in the paint in college. He has a big frame and flashed his athleticism showing off some of the best dunks of the college season. He’s going to have to develop better handles and a better outside shot, but in an NBA going smaller and more athletic he could be a quality rotation power forward.
And so long as the should surgery goes well, all those attributes are going to get him shaking David Stern’s hand pretty early on draft night.
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