Adrian Wojnarowski of YahooSports is reporting that the Minnesota Timberwolves are nearing a buyout with former #1 overall draft pick Anthony Bennett.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are progressing on a contract buyout with former No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett after failing to find a trade partner to unload him, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Bennett, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft to the Cleveland Cavaliers, is on track to be remembered as one of the all-time draft busts in league history. Nevertheless, no one beyond the Cavaliers front office had Bennett pegged as a top-10 pick in that draft - never mind No. 1 overall.
Wojnarowski also name-drops the Portland Trail Blazers and their salary cap space in connection with Bennett:
The Philadelphia 76ers and Portland Trail Blazers have the salary-cap space to claim Bennett and his $5.8 million salary for the 2015-16 season. Cleveland has a trade exception that could absorb Bennett, but that scenario is farfetched. A third team - the Utah Jazz - could waive two non-guaranteed contracts and have the space to claim Bennett, but they are unlikely to be interested, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
The operative question is, would you do it? The 6'8", 240 lb forward is only 22 years old, which fits in well with Portland's schedule. But he's failed to make any positive impact during stops in Cleveland and Minnesota. In two seasons he's accumulated averages of 4.7 points and 3.4 rebounds in 14.3 minutes per game.
Bennett is scheduled to make $5.8 million next season with team options/qualifying offers making him potentially available until the summer of 2018, with his salary topping out at $9.5 million under his current contract structure. The Blazers could absorb the initial year without impacting their cap situation...in essence a free one-year trial. They'd have to commit more salary to him long-term if they wanted the experiment to extend beyond that. The potential for sewing him up would be the main reason to take on his current contract. Failing that they could just wait for him to clear waivers (assuming he's waived) and try to pick him up on the cheap, but Bennett would be free to sign with any team outside of the Timberwolves in that scenario.
Would Bennett be worth the look? Should the Blazers be interested, even slightly, and at what price? Comment below.
--Dave firstname.lastname@example.org / @DaveDeckard / @Blazersedge