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Report: Anthony Bennett pulled from pro-am by agent, possibly due to his inclusion in Kevin Love trade talks

Jul 30, 2014, 11:14 AM EDT

Anthony Bennett Anthony Bennett

Many NBA players participate in basketball events during the offseason. Professionals roll through The Drew League in Los Angeles all the time, and Jamal Crawford hosts an annual pro-am event in his hometown Seattle where he himself plays, often spectacularly.

Anthony Bennett, the number one overall pick in the 2013 draft and someone who looked sharp playing for the Cavaliers at Summer League in Las Vegas, similarly wanted to play in one of these events in his hometown of Toronto. But his agent pulled the plug, and it isn’t difficult to figure out the reason why.

From Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune:

Re: Anthony Bennett pulled from Toronto pro-am by agent…If anyone would know a Love trade nears, it’s Jeff Schwartz, who reps both players

Does this mean a Kevin Love deal between the Cavaliers and the Timberwolves involving Bennett is done?

Of course not.

But it does mean that the reported talks between the two sides are ongoing, and though a deal can’t be completed until 30 days after this year’s top pick Andrew Wiggins signed his contract, Bennett is likely to be one of the assets headed back to Minnesota if in fact a trade takes place.

It’s more than likely that Love will be traded sometime soon, which is why he made a late decision to pull out of USA Basketball this summer. But it’s not yet a certainty that the Cavaliers will be the winners in that sweepstakes. The Bulls are trying to come up with desirable pieces, and theoretically, the Warriors could get back involved if they decide that they can live with the defensive results of adding him to the roster.

If the Timberwolves decide that the offer put forth by the Cavaliers in exchange for Love is enough, it will more than likely include Bennett — which is why he can’t risk injury by participating in games until a deal for Love, either with Cleveland or with someone else, has finally been completed.

  1. jeffkx - Jul 30, 2014 at 11:20 AM

    I’ve said it for months and everyone seems to get mad at not be surprised if the Cavs get Kevin Love without giving up Wiggins..GSW won’t get up Klay, I doubt the Bulls’ offer was/is even real and Love has been telling teams other than the Cavs to not expect him to re-sign with them. Flip has no leverage. We will see though, I don’t mind waiting a little bit to be right. Look at what Harden and Carmelo went for..nothing even close to a Wiggins type player in either of those deals.

    • loungefly74 - Jul 30, 2014 at 11:27 AM

      i hear ya. cavs need to be like Kenny Rogers’ The Gambler…this is the time to “hold’em”…while the Warriors and Bulls’ “fold’em”…and the Celtics “walk away”. sorry, just saw that Geico commercial with KR in it.

      • purple4life2 - Jul 30, 2014 at 11:46 AM

        Why would the Bulls “fold em?”

        At the very least, they stand to drive up the price for the Cavs just by making a standing offer. And if Cleveland balks at Wiggins, then they stand to actually land Love, who trains with DRose in the offseason.

        Makes no sense for Chicago to bow out at anytime.

      • lbeezyse - Jul 30, 2014 at 12:18 PM

        You Cavs fans have really gone insane. And here is why.

        Love has never stated he would only sign with the Cavs. I live here in MN and it would be plastered all over if he had. He has said on multiple occasions he wants to win. He has said he would sign with any Cali team, Chicago, NY, Bos, & Cleveland now that James is there. All he has said is that he is intrigued by playing with LeBron. Time to come down off the high of LeBron coming home.

        Had Embied not gotten hurt you wouldn’t even have the “best prospect since LeBron” on your team. To me Embied and Parker have higher upside than Wiggins. Wiggins is not the second coming of Michael and if you have to land the perfect compliment to Lebron in Love who happens to be a top 8 player in the league, you do it. Think, you would have 2 of the top 3 PER’s from last year. That trumps having Wiggin’s potential.

        If Wiggins isn’t included in the deal. Flip will simply trade him to Chicago, Utah, or GSW. All of those deals are better than anything Cleveland offer without Wiggins. Or Flip will let him walk for nothing, than take on bad contracts.

        If Love hit’s FA there is maybe a 10% chance Love comes to Cleveland. It will be a frenzy if he hits the market with every team offering him the max that Cleveland most likely wont be able to match. No way Kevin takes a 5 million pay cut to sign there. Also, the cap maneuvering needing to be done would completely gut your team. Bringing in Love now and having his bird rights is really the only way Kevin ever dons the maroon and gold. Don’t count out the Lakers at any point due to Love’s vast connections there.

        Lastly, Love has said many times he want’s the trade to work out for both teams. Why do you think he has not come out and publicly said anything on record? He is not going to march into Flips office and demand a trade to Cleveland or he’ll veto all other trades. The guy is selfish, but also a pretty stand up guy in looking out for the Wolves.

        Time to temper your emotions Cleveland/LeBron fans and realize the only way you see Love is if Wiggins is given up. You will not have it both ways.

      • kindasporty - Jul 30, 2014 at 12:24 PM

        Chicago will be calling the Timberwolves right up to the very end. They may not have the ammunition to get it done, but they’ll be on the phone the entire time.

      • lbeezyse - Jul 30, 2014 at 12:26 PM

        I agree. Why would any team give up. Especially if the Cavs won’t give up Wiggins.

      • loungefly74 - Jul 30, 2014 at 12:32 PM

        ahhh…i was just poking fun at the situation with the Gambler lyrics. yeah, the Bulls are definitely in the running (oh…i see a Pamplona pun coming up! nah, i’ll spare ya).

    • 76ersdoubletank - Jul 30, 2014 at 1:38 PM

      I just don’t think they do. For a few reasons. First, The Cavs offers without Wiggins is really just as bad as Boston’s offer.

      Bennett: Looks better now that he’s in shape, but really where do you play him? His shot looks slightly better, but will always need work. He is well in his way to screaming, “number one bust, role player for ten years.” I don’t think that MN would consider him a centerpiece.

      Waiters: Ha….

      And then really, who else do you trade? If i’m MN, Wiggins has to be there or I’ll trade him to Boston for Sullinger, Smart and some picks.

      The Bulls offer really isn’t much better, but at least it includes a defensive player with untapped offensive potential (Gibson), and a European player many people are high on.

      Supporters for the Cavs getting him without Wiggins have to answer the question, Who on that team has any value aside from him?

      • arrondior - Jul 30, 2014 at 3:47 PM

        The trade will be Wiggins + Bennett. There is no way MN makes any other trade, and I don’t see Cleveland giving up a Draft pick with a Wiggins trade either. I think Cleveland knows what Bennett is but is hoping MN sees upside there. Cleveland would rather take another stab at drafting a better player than giving away a pick and hoping Bennett blossoms.

    • tcstunner - Jul 30, 2014 at 2:49 PM

      Nobody gets mad at you, they just laugh at you cause it’s ridiculous. No Wiggins, no Love. Bank on it.

  2. canucks30 - Jul 30, 2014 at 11:21 AM

    A bigger BUST than Kate Upton

    • stevonnesmith - Jul 30, 2014 at 1:23 PM


  3. zacksdad - Jul 30, 2014 at 11:23 AM

    I am confused on why he does not play.

    If he plays, he gets what he wants and plays. If he gets hurt, it may stop the trade. So if not traded, he gets to play with LeBron. If traded he is on a rebuilding project on a Western conference team.

    Not playing helps the trade happen.

    So not saying he wants to get hurt, but why is he helping to ensure the trade. I understand that Love wants to be traded and him sitting out of all activities until it happens.

    • spursareold - Jul 30, 2014 at 11:29 AM

      Bennett may WANT a change in scenery. He’s been tagged as a bust in Cleveland, and may be interested in just moving on and starting over.

      • mckaymatt - Jul 30, 2014 at 11:47 AM

        Yeah he may be hearing bust talk, but he has played ONE season in the NBA, and came into the season out of shape due to a shoulder injury.

        Not saying he won’t be a bust, but he had a lot of things going against him last season. He appears to be in shape and on a better roster where he could look to be a solid NBA player. Superstar? No, but I don’t think anyone thought he was going to be a superstar let alone a consistent All-Star at the NBA level.

      • purple4life2 - Jul 30, 2014 at 12:40 PM

        So the Cavs picked AB #1 overall with the thought he wouldn’t be a regular All-Star, rather a NBA regular? Sounds like a genius plan.

        If you don’t draft for “star” or future “all-star” at #1 overall, where do you look to draft that guy?

      • casualcommenter - Jul 30, 2014 at 2:44 PM

        Agreed with Spursareold.
        Bennett is either a power forward or a small forward. I see him as a power forward.

        If he stays on the Cavs, he’ll be playing behind LeBron at small forward (and sometimes power forward), and either Tristan Thompson or Kevin Love at power forward.

        His ceiling on the Cavs, with or without a Love trade, is probably 20 minutes per game. If he thinks he’s healthy and ready to have a big season to quiet skeptics like me, he actually should prefer going to Minnesota. After they trade away that Kevin Love guy, the path to becoming a starter is easier for Bennett.

        Young players drafted in the top-10 don’t dream of becoming role players off the bench.

      • mckaymatt - Jul 30, 2014 at 4:00 PM

        “purple4life2” I don’t think going into that draft anyone was pegged to be a superstar, and everyone in that draft had question marks more so than other drafts. That was a draft that nobody wanted the first pick, the cavs obviously liked him game and thought he could bring something to the table that they lacked.

        It spoke more about the draft than Bennett, did you follow the draft leading up to it? Or just here to educate me about scouting talent.

    • hauts81 - Jul 30, 2014 at 6:56 PM

      The Cavs may have told Bennett’s agent to pull him out of the pro-am.

  4. melissashusband - Jul 30, 2014 at 11:29 AM

    Hey jeffkx

    Flip HAS leverage due to three factors

    1) it appears that LeBron wants Love so the cavs need to get him or risk an opt out after next year

    2) Love would get more than the Cavs are offering without Wiggins from multiple other teams

    3) the wolves would rather let love walk that plug thier salary cap future years with overpaid average players

    • RavenzGunnerz - Jul 30, 2014 at 11:39 AM

      very true. I do not see how Wiggins is not involved in this trade. And if he is… Wiggins, Bennett, Levine and Rubio… very raw raw talent, but exciting talent. Downside? Wiggins gets to join the entrenched Western Conference.

    • 6thsense10 - Jul 30, 2014 at 11:52 AM

      LeBron is opting out either way. The two year contract was to ensure he signs the biggest deal possible once the new TV money comes in.

      Flip has less leverage than most think. Let’s get this straight now. Love by simply refusing to sign a long term deal with a team can essentially veto a trade. The longer Flip waits the less he can get for Love.

      Cavs worse case scenario rolling the dice and playing with Wiggins and Bennett if the deal falls through is not a bad plan B. What exactly is Flip’s plan B if this falls through? Love wants out of Minnesota. Worse case scenario flip loses Love and gets nothing.

      And you must be kidding yourself if you believe any NBA team would prefer to let an all NBA player walk and get nothing. The Lakers were pretty much devastated when Dwight did it to them. They didn’t get anything or any draft picks. But even they are in a better situation than the wolves because they can attract free agents and with their TV deal they have boats loads of cash flowing in. The Wolves can’t attract draft picks and don’t make money like the Lakers.

      • swaggerjackin01 - Jul 30, 2014 at 12:36 PM

        You Cavs fans just don’t get it. Anthony Bennett IS NOTHING. He isn’t worth anything. Your picks that will be in the late 20s if you get Kevin Love ARE NOTHING. Waiters is a volume scorer and is worth close to nothing. You are getting Kevin Love for that crap package.

        I guarantee you that the Cavs sold LeBron on being able to acquire Love and that was part of the reason he signed there. They had talked to the Wolves about trading the 1st pick for Love but he said he wouldn’t re-sign there. They were already willing to trade Wiggins for Love. Now they won’t, even though it would immediately make them championship contenders? Get real.

      • purple4life2 - Jul 30, 2014 at 12:44 PM

        Hey 6thSense…you asked what exactly Flips backup plan is if Love doesn’t go to CLE on YOUR proposedlow-ball offer?

        How about Chicago? They have a legit offer out there. They are your divisional opponent. It’s a huge market. Love said he’d consider signing long term there. He trains with Rose. OH AND THEY WONT PULL THEIR OFFER BECAUSE THEY NOT ONLY WANT LOVE BUT CAN AT LEAST DRIVE UP THE PRICE FOR THE CAVS IF THEY LOW-BALL.

        CLE fans have taken over for Mia fans as most delusional.

      • lbeezyse - Jul 30, 2014 at 12:46 PM

        I don’t get it either. I post exactly why Love will not be in a Cavs uniform without involving Wiggins and I get thumbed down to death. Talk about being greedy. Without Love this year the Cavs tiptoe a tight line of good/mediocre. If Bennett and Wiggins don’t pan out, LeBron will never win a title in Cleveland.

        The way they are currently constructed they will have a tough time getting to the finals and an even tougher time beating the West for the next 3 years. The only way they become a powerhouse is if Wiggins turns into a stud. He may or may not. TBD.

      • lbeezyse - Jul 30, 2014 at 1:05 PM

        Flip HAS MORE leverage than you think. It’s what happens when more than 1 team is bidding for a player.

        The thing you Clevelanders fail to realize is that before LeBron, Love wanted no part of the Cavs. Now with LeBron, Cleveland has become ANOTHER place Love will resign. Contrary to popular belief it is NOT Cleveland or bust for Love. He will resign with any major market that offers him a chance to win. There are a lot of teams that fit the bill there with Chicago being the glaring one. Also, don’t count out teams like Hou, San An, Dal among others if he hits free agency. The Lakers will also be in the mix.

        In this case, the Wolves are better off letting Love walk for nothing than take Bennett, a late 20’s pick, and Waiters for Love. To most all pundits the Bulls offer is a better quality package than the Cavs even with Wiggins. I think Flip is looking into the future to sell fans on. I don’t blame him.

        Simply no Wiggins, no Love. It really is that simple.

  5. mckaymatt - Jul 30, 2014 at 11:33 AM

    hmmm if I’m Bennett I’m telling my agent to stick it. I don’t care if he reps Kevin Love and is trying to keep him happy.

    Oh, you want me to not get injured so I can be traded from Cleveland (making the playoffs in the east, playing with LBJ) to Minny (Losing their best player, probably not making the playoffs in a loaded west.)

    Yeah, let me get right on that.

    • 6thsense10 - Jul 30, 2014 at 12:07 PM

      Or maybe Bennett would rather be on a team where he is the 2nd or even first option rather than remain on a team where he may be the 4th or even 5th option. Everyone seems to think winning is the only thing these players weight when making these decisions.

      Bennett is working on his first big free agent contract. The more playing time and use as a 1st or 2nd option the bigger the contract. And make no mistakes about it..almost every player coming off their rookie contract wants to get paid first before worrying about if they’re playing on a title contender or even playoff team.

      • mckaymatt - Jul 30, 2014 at 12:18 PM

        I definitely get your point and I think it is a valid point, I think it holds more water than him wanting to get out of Cleveland due to the bust talk.

        I would counter it with teams still pay RFA’s high money offer sheets for guys based on potential. So being the 4th-5th option on a winning team and improving and showing flashes can be just as good as putting empty numbers up on a bad team. Either way I get your point, and I don’t necessarily disagree with it.

  6. milkman1989 - Jul 30, 2014 at 11:44 AM

    Guys please help. I’m doing a dissertation on the NBA focusing on its lack of competitiveness. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE could you answer my questionnaire, its only 4 short questions and i promise it will only take 1 minute max. Here is the link and I will be very grateful to the community on here. Thanks guys:

    • milkman1989 - Jul 30, 2014 at 12:43 PM

      Why is this getting thumbs down may i ask?

      • jerze2387 - Jul 30, 2014 at 12:45 PM

        because this isnt a place for surveys. When you start your own website, you can post your surveys.

      • antistratfordian - Jul 30, 2014 at 3:44 PM

        don’t take it personally. a lot of the folks here are haughty and ornery. you didn’t do anything wrong.

      • reesesteel23 - Jul 30, 2014 at 4:46 PM

        Just bad mouth Lebron next time and you’ll get all the thumb up’s you ever wanted.

    • antistratfordian - Jul 30, 2014 at 3:47 PM

      I took your survey, but your 2nd question “2. How important to you is a games perceived closeness (between the 2 competing teams) when choosing to watch an NBA game?” has two different answers.

      I will watch every game for the team I’m following regardless, and would prefer if they win by double digits every single time. For other teams, of course I would like the games to be very close at the end.

  7. rosloe62 - Jul 30, 2014 at 12:14 PM

    Thank god for football starting! This Love to Cleveland, Bulls, GS, or whoever …ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

  8. mungman69 - Jul 30, 2014 at 1:59 PM

    I don’t understand all of this crap with max salaries and four team trades etc. but if the Wolves don’t get Wiggins they won’t deal with the Cavs.

    • antistratfordian - Jul 30, 2014 at 3:41 PM

      Or so Wolves fans hope.

  9. jrob23 - Jul 30, 2014 at 2:32 PM

    people, Love to CLE has been a done deal for awhile. This is the NBA we are talking about. They need LJ in the playoffs and finals. They will ensure this happens. Why people, after all the evidence of corruptions, still think these things aren’t fixed…is beyond me.

  10. jammer73 - Jul 30, 2014 at 4:54 PM

    And to think there are still some delusional Cavs fans that think they are getting Love without giving up Wiggins…LOL!

  11. seasickcecil - Jul 30, 2014 at 7:10 PM

    No more delusional than Philly fans thinking they are getting Waiters for nothing.

  12. blogsk3tball - Jul 30, 2014 at 8:30 PM

    Bennett is heading to Philly for Thad. Young.
    Young is heading to the Wolves with Wiggins

  13. gnu2308 - Jul 30, 2014 at 10:44 PM

    If the Cavs were going to get Love without giving up Wiggins the trade would be done by now… the only reason the trade hasn’t been announced is because Wiggins is in the trade.

    Cleveland fans, you are making yourself look foolish. You should be happy you are getting one of the best players in the NBA to play along side Lebron… instead you are all crying like little babies.

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