April 19, 2014

NBA News: Anthony Bennett among leaders for 2013-14 Rookie of the Year

Cleveland Cavaliers rookie forward Anthony Bennett is listed among the top two players for potential NBA Rookie of the Year for the 2013-14 season by ESPN’s Chad Ford. Behind only Orlando’s Victor Oladipo, the first-overall pick in the most recent draft appears to have defensive acumen as the only hurdle that would prevent him from being the third-straight No. 1 pick to bring home the Rookie of the Year hardware when selected by the Cavaliers.

“Like Oladipo, Bennett is ready for the physical rigors of the NBA right away,” writes Ford. He has an NBA body and athleticism and should be able to hold his own. He also is a uniquely skilled big man who can score from anywhere.

“[But] given Brown’s defensive leanings and Bennett’s struggles to guard guys while he was at UNLV, will he even play Bennett much?”

Ford adds that opposing teams will have to “pick their poison” with Bennett on the offensive end, but his 6-foot-8-inch frame (coupled with any potential issues with rehabilitation from his shoulder injury) could prove to be a liability in the post. Other Cavalier top picks, LeBron James in 2003-04 and Kyrie Irving in 2011-12, won the NBA Rookie of the Year award during their respective freshman campaigns.

Several current sportsbooks have Bennett among the top five (10-1) in Rookie of the Year odds, behind several guards like Minnesota’s Trey Burke, Portland’s CJ McCollum, Philadelphia’s Michael Carter-Williams and Oladipo. The last two winners of the award were point guards in Irving and Portland’s Damian Lillard.

[Related: Behold: Tristan Thompson 2.0]

  • Harv 21

    Yes!! I just improved my Chris Grant draft grade from A to A++.

    This is huge. They like us. They really really like us. Not to mention just the sort of pre-pre-training camp confidence boost young Mr. Bennett needs.

  • Natedawg86

    “#1 pick amoung leaders for rookie of year” Why is this news? Esp in preseason. If it is news come Feb, then maybe it will have a little substance.

  • Ben Frambaugh

    I am not sure that he’ll ever be considered for ROY this season. Between his perceived defensive shortcomings (and they do seem legit) and the fact that he’s not a wing, it’s not looking good for him. PG’s who are likely to get a lot of playing time are far more likely to get this.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Slow sports day hence news.

  • JHop

    Chad Ford needs something to keep him busy. You can only monitor Kobe’s achilles injury and terrible New York Knicks roster moves for so long.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    All that aside the kid may not even play that many minutes this season. That alone would leave him out of any ROY talk. Unless Ford knows something we don’t.

  • JHop

    The problem with ROY is that 80% of it comes down to play time. While Anthony Bennett may in fact be the best rookie, he has no chance to win the award on a deep(er) roster like Cleveland. Look for somewhere who will be playing nearly every minute of every game – Oladipo, Carter-Williams, Burke, etc. – and therefore put up bigger stats to run away with it.

  • JHop

    Does team record give a boost in ROY voting? I know it certainly helps in the MVP discussion. I only ask because if Bennett plays a big role for the Cavs and we end up going to the playoffs, that might help is case. So maybe Ford is implicitly betting on the Cavs making the postseason this year?

  • BenRM

    For the sake of argument, if he is good enough to win rookie of the year, shouldn’t he also be good enough to play in place of someone like TT or Gee?

  • BenRM

    This post is like rain on my wedding day. A free ride when I’ve already paid.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    You should make that into a song. ;-)

  • JHop

    That’s what you’d hope. Although even if Bennett turns out to be legitimate #1 pick material, I can’t envision Mike Brown cutting TT’s or limiting Clark’s minutes enough to allow Bennett to put up the same numbers as some of the other rookies.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    P.S. That ain’t no free ride!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I would tend to think so but it’s an individual voting thing more then anything. I’m hoping Bennett is a ROY candidate because if he is it probably means he’s playing alot and doing well.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Yea and I can’t see either Clark or Bennett being a SF for more then maybe a few minutes here and there and largely depending on the opponent.

  • Ben Frambaugh

    Clark, IMO, is the most likely guy to start at SF. While he’s offensively inept from there, he’s actually really good defensively at that spot (where his length gives him a huge advantage.)

  • Ben Frambaugh

    The problem with Bennett at SF is his quickness…there are some who question if he has the quickness to play there…particularly defensively. He also isn’t a particularly strong ball-handler (if he’s playing a wing position).

    Since Mike Brown values defense, it’ll be harder for Bennett to get additional minutes over TT, who’s game is basically predicated around defense and rebounding.

  • Ben Frambaugh

    Did you really just go Alanis? LOL

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Would seem to make sense. The best thing going for Brown out is that he has a tremendous amount of front court depth. With Bynum and Varejao that’ll be a big plus. So as of today on paper while it may seem like there won’t be enough minutes to go around I’m betting during the season this won’t be the case.

  • BenRM

    you know it! :p

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    It must be the Canadian thing eh?

  • BenRM

    That was very well played on your part.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I do what I can Ben I do what I can.

  • Ben Frambaugh

    My biggest fear (for the Cavs) is that our schedule is pretty easy up front…but after the All-Star break it gets kind of ugly. That’s likely about the time frame that the injury bug hurts our bigs…and thus forces Bennett into action. Rookies typically struggle, rookie bigs more so. I don’t have much faith that Bennett can play at the 3, so I don’t have much faith that he’ll do much worthy of ROY (especially when he has to compete against guys like Burke who are going to be given plenty of PT all season long and play a much more glamorous PG position.)

    I think that Olapido is this years MKG (defensive wing specialist who will struggle to score) and so won’t likely be a candidate for ROY.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Okay now you are just messing with me. First it was the Indians easier schedule and now it’s the Cavaliers? I can not predict the Cavaliers season at all. Just way to many variables.

    As far as ROY goes right now I have no idea either.

  • Ben Frambaugh

    I don’t think I’ve ever discussed the Indians…but the first half of our schedule is significantly easier than the 2nd half. Minimal 4 games in 5 nights, one west coast trip, minimal contact with the best of the West (the OKC/Houston/etc…) 2nd half of the season…it gets ugly quick.

  • Ben Frambaugh

    Then you have earned my uptick. ;-)

  • Ben Frambaugh

    Cavs The Blog did an article specifically on their schedule about a week ago.

    http://www.cavstheblog.com/?p=21655