The word “bust” has started to creep into discussions about Cavaliers draft pick Anthony Bennett.

The No. 1 pick in the 2013 draft has gotten off to a miserable start to his NBA career. His shooting has been off kilter from the outset of his season, as he missed his first 16 shots from the field.
Adding to his gloom was the fact he showed up to training camp woefully out of shape and overweight.

It’s all added up to a disaster.

Up until recent days, Cavs coach Mike Brown has insisted Bennett will play strictly at power forward. After Bennett flopped in that role, Brown is now thinking about letting him play some at small forward.

It appears as if Bennett would struggle mightily trying to defend small forwards, but what does Brown have to lose? It’s not like Bennett played well at power forward. Also, the small forwards he’s used thus far — Alonzo Gee and Earl Clark — haven’t played up to par in the early going of the season.

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau has been watching the Bennett affair unfold from afar.

“He’s got a lot of talent,” he said before Saturday’s game at Quicken Loans Arena. “Their whole team is going through an adjustment right now.

“It’s a long season. Players have to be professional and study, learn, concentrate and give everything they have. You don’t get here by accident. Everyone at this level is a great player.”

The 6-foot-8, 259-pound Bennett was very good in his lone season at UNLV, winning Mountain West Conference Player of the Year. He has yet to make the adjustment to the NBA.

“When we drafted him, we knew he was an intelligent player who had a lot of skill set,” Brown said. “We felt that to try to simplify it for him being so young and being No. 1 pick in the draft and having unseen, unspoken pressures that we’d try to keep him just at the ‘4’ to help him out and help the transition coming to the league.”
Bennett, 20, has been getting some minutes as Tristan Thompson’s backup at power forward. Clark has grabbed most of the minutes there, which left Bennett out of the rotation. Allowing Bennett to play a few minutes at “3” could find some minutes for the rookie.