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Anthony Bennett: NBA Dream is Still Alive

In 2013, Cavs picked Anthony Bennet as the first pick of the NBA draft. He was quite good in college, he seemed to be really versatile, had all the length teams want in like an undersized 4, oversized 3, and the Ohio team hoped to build the future around him and Irving. But he spent there only one season in which he did not satisfy and was traded with Wiggins to Minnesota for Kevin Love. After one season in Minnesota, he went to play for Raptors, and after that also for Brooklyn Nets.

In the last season, he had a short episode at Fenerbahce, Turkish basketball club. He did not manage to play a lot of minutes and was even released before the end of the season after the Euroleague Final Four, where the Turkish side became European champion. It was there that he won a EuroLeague championship under legendary head coach Željko Obradović. Obradović has won nine EuroLeague titles with five different teams, led Yugoslavia to the 1998 FIBA world championship, and is a five-time EuroLeague coach of the year. Bennett was thankful for the opportunity to learn from such a brilliant basketball mind.

"The experience of playing EuroLeague ball gave me a different perspective on just the way the game's played," Bennett said. "Every possession matters. Everything has to be on point. The offense, defensively — everybody has to be connected."

One of the biggest disappointments, maybe the worst first pick in an NBA history, Anthony Bennett, signed a contract with the Phoenix Suns last summer. But the contract was canceled only 20 days after the signing. He joined the team's G League affiliate, the Northern Arizona Suns, before the end of last October. Bennett worked closely with Jay Triano in practices and the assistant coach of the Suns told Bennett that he could find a place in the league if he is going to improve certain skills.

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Bennett took Triano's advice to heart, working on becoming a better three-point shooter. Through 14 games with Northern Arizona, he shot 44.2 percent behind the three-point line. The Maine Red Claws (a Boston Celtics affiliate) took notice and acquired him via trade last December. He averaged 14.8 PPG and 6.3 RPG in the 2017-2018 season. Bennett scored double-digit points in 17 out of 20 games. Not bad for someone who is considered the worst first pick in NBA history. Bennett obviously didn't give up on his NBA dream.


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