Earlier this week, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reported that the Minnesota Timberwolves were progressing toward a buyout of Anthony Bennett‘s contract prior to the upcoming season. And now, it appears that the organization has ultimately opted to waive him instead.
“In speaking with Anthony and his representatives over the past few days, we came to the conclusion that this was the best outcome for both parties,” said Timberwolves general manager Milt Newton. “When you look at our team, our deepest position is probably power forward. This move balances out our roster while also allowing Anthony another opportunity in the NBA. He has a lot of talent and his play this summer internationally made this a difficult decision for us.
“During his short time here Anthony has carried himself with class and represented the franchise in a very professional manner. We thank him for his positive attitude and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.”
The ‘Wolves initially acquired Bennett last summer in a blockbuster deal that sent Kevin Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers and netted both Bennett and 2014 No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins. Wiggins went onto to win Rookie of the Year, while Bennett to continued to struggle to find his niche.
After a disappointing rookie campaign in which he averaged just a little over four points and three rebounds per game, on a paltry 35 percent shooting from the field, Bennett didn’t improve much last season as he posted 5.8 points and 3.8 rebounds on 42 percent shooting.
One of the biggest issues is that he doesn’t quite fit the mold of a modern forward in the pace-and-space NBA. He doesn’t have much of a traditional post game to speak of, but he also can’t help spread the floor with his shooting. Combine that with the fact that both his rebounding and defense leave a lot to be desired, and it’s difficult to imagine how he can help an NBA team at this point of his development.
The good news for Bennett is that he’s still young and perfectly capable of improving in all of these areas. He showed tremendous potential this summer as a major part of the Canadian national team as they tore their way through the FIBA Americas tournament before being ousted in the semifinals. But for now, he’ll have to ply his wares elsewhere and hope an up-and-coming team is willing to take a chance on him.