Wizards set up meeting with UNLV's Bennett

Wizards set up meeting with UNLV's Bennett
June 7, 2013, 2:30 pm
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Prospects hoping to impress Wizards

Anthony Bennett can’t work out because of surgery to his left rotator cuff, but the forward is expected to be in town to interview with the Wizards next week, CSN Washington learned Friday.

Bennett, a forward from UNLV, is a lottery pick. But is he worthy of being chosen No. 3 overall by the Wizards on June 27?

He’s only 20 after playing just one season, averaging 15.8 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 27.2 minutes per game. Bennett shot 52.6% from the field, including 38.3% on three-point shots.

While center Alex Len (Maryland) attended last month’s pre-draft combine in Chicago despite being on crutches because of left ankle surgery, Bennett did not. Len was measured, interviewed with the Wizards and was analyzed by team doctors. 

Bennett's injury is to his non-shooting shoulder and won't be ready until training camp which means he also won't play in the July 12-22 summer league in Las Vegas.

Bennett is a “tweener" in that he’s projected to be a power forward in the NBA but doesn't have the height. He’s 6-7 in shoes, though 239 pounds and a 7-1 wingspan mitigates some of that disadvantage.

Bennett can be a matchup problem, however, because he is too quick for most power forwards, can put the ball on the floor with either hand and has three-point range. Those skills make him extremely effective if the running pick-and-roll with point guard John Wall. 

Except for his height, he appears to have all of the qualities that the Wizards need after a 29-53 season in which they finished last in the NBA in scoring at 93.2 points per game. On the defensive end, where the Wizards were a top 10 team, is where Bennett struggles most. 

The Wizards play Nene, a 7-footer, at power forward and have an array of other backups such as Jan Vesely, Trevor Booker and Chris Singleton, who aren't shooters and can’t create their offense off the dribble.

Otto Porter of Georgetown is interviewing and working out for the Wizards next Thursday and Friday. Porter is a small forward, which isn't as great of a need if the Wizards are able to re-sign Martell Webster when free agency opens July 1 and Trevor Ariza doesn't opt out the final year of his deal that will pay him $7.7 million.