Saying the Bobcats offense suffered this season is an understatement at best. With the team being heavily inconsistent on offense, had no inside presence what so ever, and not much scoring from their back court it’s very possible that they will go after a long big man who can score in a multitude of ways to take some slack off the backcourt. A player like this would also give Kemba Walker someone to pass to.
Bennett comes into the draft with a 7-foot-1-inch wingspan weighing 235 pounds. He had the ability to shoot the 3 in college so he has some range in his offense. Bennett was largely praised for his ability to score in a multitude of ways throughout college whether through shooting, putting the ball on the floor, or going down into the post. Sporting a 60 percent true shooting percentage he has shown he uses his wide variety of scoring in an efficient manner which is nice to see from a college player. I am worried by the fact that Bennett’s field goal percentage steadily got worse as the season went on. However, his minutes went up throughout the year and he started having the shoulder problems that led to his eventual surgery later in the year.
Another concern with Bennett is his defense. He is largely criticized as being lazy on defense. According to Draft Express, "he often looks like he's only going half speed here, jogging the floor lackadaisically, relaxing in his stance whenever he can, and losing his focus easily. He regularly gives up deep post position to opposing big men without putting up much of a fight, and loses track of his matchup relatively frequently off the ball." A lot of this can be improved if Bennett has the work ethic. A player as long as Bennett can cause some major havoc at a 4 position in the NBA but he has to be willing to commit on that end.
Fit with the Bobcats
Anthony Bennett is definitely a player that could fit in very well with the Bobcats. His wingspan will allow him to play down low with other big men, which would be great for the Bobcats. With the backcourt being overwhelming source of scoring for the Bobcats last season, a player like Bennett who can create his own shot down low would be great for the team. Once Bennett bulks up he should be able to hold his own down low and that is largely needed on the Bobcats. A player down low that can do at least something. His defense does concern me but as I said before that can be taught if he is willing to put his mind to it.
He's also pretty undersized for an NBA power forward with a measured height at 6 feet 7 inches as of last year. Perhaps he's grown in the time since but as of this moment, as far as we know, he's the same height or slightly shorter than the Bobcats' starting small forward, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. His wingspan is slightly above average for his height, however. Despite height concerns, Bennett is a powerful finisher and will likely carry that to the next level.
I do have some fears with Bennett. A player who is notorious for not even giving full effort on defense is not an acceptable mindset, especially on Bobcats team that ranked last in defensive efficiency last year. Maybe he just has no idea what he’s doing so he’s not trying. I don’t know the guy personally so I don’t know what his work ethic is but that’s something the Bobcats have to look into.
If the Bobcats were to draft Bennett, it probably wouldn't be a bad pick. He’s projected to be drafted fourth to the Bobcats by a handful of analysts and there aren't too many reports of the teams above the Bobcats being interested in him. Bennett could fit in well with the team thanks to his ability to score down low and if the defense never improves, the worst case scenario is that he becomes a scorer off the bench. Nothing wrong with that.