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No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett officially signs with Cavaliers

Aug 21, 2013, 8:01 AM EDT

Anthony Bennett from UNLV reacts after being selected by the Clevland Cavaliers as the first overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft in Brooklyn Reuters

Anthony Bennett is still recovering from shoulder surgery, but his arm is working well enough to sign his first NBA contract.

The Cavaliers have officially signed Bennett to his rookie deal, which is for four years and a little over $22 million, the team announced.

Bennett was the surprise No. 1 overall pick out of UNLV. He’s a 6’7” power forward who will come off the bench at first behind Anderson Varejao, but who the Cavs see as a starter soon.

The tools he has were never the question — Bennett is long, physically strong and in college was just a beast around the basket. He can get out and run the floor and he can finish with authority (he was one of college basketball’s better dunkers). He’s shown flashes of an outside shot and handles, but those areas need to improve. So will his defense. But all the tools are there.

We did not get to see those tools on display at Summer League or anywhere else since he’s been picked due to shoulder surgery that took place before the draft. Bennett is expected to be ready to go by training camp.

The Cavaliers are Kyrie Irving’s team, and they have the Andrew Bynum sideshow now. But clearly they see Bennett as a big part of their future, and now they have him formally signed.

  1. ljl2 - Aug 21, 2013 at 8:12 AM

    Are you saying he is the second big off the bench after Varejao or that he’s coming in to sub Varejao at PF? If the first, agreed. If the second, Tristan will be starting at PF, not Varejao.

    • adamsjohn714 - Aug 21, 2013 at 2:55 PM

      Varejao should be starting. He’s really good.

      • ljl2 - Aug 23, 2013 at 1:16 PM

        Fit matters. And Varejao is good, but he’s not a PF anymore in how the league has shifted. He needs to be around 25 minutes to stay healthy and not get burnt out by his style.

      • adamsjohn714 - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:41 PM

        Yeah the league doesn’t need excellent rebounders. It needs all the tall people to be mediocre shooters from a long way from the basket. Brilliant. Injuries are largely random and they happen to every team.

  2. carussel88 - Aug 21, 2013 at 8:53 AM

    At least they were smart enough to avoid nerlens noel…. And I see Bennett playing the 3 and rotating through the 4.

    • muhangis - Aug 22, 2013 at 9:07 AM

      Shows how little you know about basketball. Noel easily was the best player in the draft, and I’m no UK fan. Facts are truth, and truth are facts.

      Besides his weight, why avoid Noel? Show you know something about basketball.

      Nerlens Noel not as good as Anthony Davis, yet the best player in the ’13 draft by a long shot! (In 2 yrs be proven kid!)

    • muhangis - Aug 22, 2013 at 9:08 AM

      You’re probably the same one who said avoid Andre Drummond or DeMarcus Cousins, lol…. Aren’t you? Fool.

      • adamsjohn714 - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:15 AM

        umm Drummond’s college numbers weren’t all that favorable against the other big men drafted that year. Cousins hasn’t been very good for the Kings yet. Lots of points on lots of shots. Lots of long range misses. Oladipo, I believe, will be a Kawhi Leonard type talent. Excellent player.

  3. imforbigblue - Aug 21, 2013 at 9:10 AM

    He has NBA bust all over him

  4. MyTeamsAllStink - Aug 21, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    UNLV fan here.He will be solid but not the star you’re hoping for in Cleveland.He had moments where he just disappeared in games and this was against teams like Fresno st.He needs to get into better shape and he has asthma which he failed to disclose to UNLV team doctors last season.I think he’ll be good but not great and certainly not elite

    • ljl2 - Aug 23, 2013 at 1:18 PM

      There aren’t many Cleveland fans who expect a star out of Bennett…

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