It’s not often that a team could deal a veteran player that is already on the trading block for the most recent first overall pick in return. However, this year undoubtedly presents a unique situation for both potential teams.
The Sixers are actively shopping swingman Evan Turner, and halfway through his rookie season, there is no question that Anthony Bennett has been the worst No.1 pick of all-time. Still, Bennett is just 20 years old and possesses a unique skill set to say the least. Despite his dreadful percentages, Bennett can shoot the ball out to the three-point line at 6-foot-8. Unlike most shooting big men, the UNLV product has a wide base and solid frame. Still, Bennett has averaged a mere 3.3 points and 2.6 rebounds in 37 games. Perhaps even less impressive is his Player Efficiency Rating, that has actually improved lately to a cool 3.82, well under the NBA average of 15.
Rumors have been spread that teams are reluctant to give up a first-round pick in this summer’s draft. With the news coming in today that the Cleveland Cavaliers have fired their GM Chris Grant, the idea of Bennett being on the move sooner rather than later becomes more of a possibility. The longer that Cleveland holds on to Bennett, the longer they run the risk of his value diminishing even further.
Depending on how the Cavs’ brass feels about their shocking No.1 pick, a potential Turner for Bennett swap may be more than they could ever imagine getting in return. In addition, the potential that still remains in Bennett may be better than anything another team is willing to give up for a player set to hit free agency.
Turner would offer the Cavs the opportunity to finally do away with Dion Waiters after all the locker room issues and trade rumors. Perhaps Turner would even be a better fit next to Kyrie Irving, although he fails to get his points in the flow of the offense as well and has to dominate the all to do so.
For Bennett’s career, a move to Philadelphia may be a best case scenario. Despite the Cavs’ lackluster performance this season, the pressure was high for him to produce right away. It was thought that Cleveland had a chance to a team in the thick of the playoff race in the Eastern Conference. Brett Brown and the Sixers could offer Bennett significant minutes regardless of his play for the most part. With the Sixers nowhere near contending, Bennett would have the opportunity to play through his struggles, and perhaps even find some rhythm.
Evan Turner is on his way out. Regardless of whether it is via trade or free agency, the result is the same. Bennett appears to be a bust despite playing just half of a year in the Association. With that said, and the upside that Bennett still has in regards to his skill set with size, the Sixers would more than likely love this as a second option if nobody caves and offers up their 2014 first-rounder.