The Minnesota Timberwolves and Anthony Bennett are talking about a contract buyout, according to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski. Considering how poorly Bennett has played in his first two seasons in the league, and that he’s sixth—at best—on Minnesota’s front court depth chart, the report isn’t particularly surprising. What is surprising is an easily disprovable assertion contained within the piece (emphasis mine):
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.
Pretty much every single reputable reporter or NBA draft expert, after talking to teams and agents, thought Bennett was a top-1o pick. ESPN projected he’d go third. Chad Ford had him ranked fourth. David Aldridge projected he’d go fourth. Scott Howard-Cooper projected he’d go fifth. DraftExpress had him ranked sixth, and projected he’d go eighth. Sports Illustrated projected he’d go seventh. The Sporting News projected he’d go seventh. NBADraft.net projected he’d go tenth.
In fact, I couldn’t find a single mock draft that didn’t peg Bennett as a top-1o pick. And while it was certainly a surprise to see the Cavaliers select him first overall, the reporting leading up to the draft indicated that it would be one of the most unpredictable in years, and that there were no guarantees for the top slot.
Weirdly, this isn’t the first time Wojnarowski has trotted out revisionist history about the Bennett pick. In February of 2014, days after he reported that Cavaliers GM Chris Grant had been fired, Wojnarowski wrote a damning takedown of Grant’s tenure as general manager, chronicling every perceived mistake and asserting a toned-down version of his claim that Bennett would have suffered a free fall if the Cavaliers hadn’t selected him:
If Cleveland hadn’t selected Bennett with the No. 1 overall pick, there was a strong chance that he would’ve dropped to the back end of the top 10 – or even further.
Wojnarowski’s reporting about the T’Wolves and Bennett working towards a buyout has since been confirmed by multiple other reporters, and so it’s head-scratching that he’s stuck on a clearly incorrect retelling of the 2013 draft.
Wojnarowski didn’t respond to a request for comment.
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