The surprise selection of Anthony Bennett has gone terribly wrong for Cleveland, and the numbers paint an especially grim picture. No. 1 draft picks are sacred in the NBA. A team gets the pick of the litter, and it can change the course of its franchise. Anthony Bennett has been a pretty rotten pick of that litter for the Cleveland Cavaliers. It's too early to call him an outright bust, of course. He had a shoulder injury leading into the season, which helped cause his weight to balloon. Later, he was diagnosed with sleep apnea. Add in his struggles finding a spot in Cleveland's crowded frontcourt, and there have been mitigating circumstances. But Bennett's rookie year has been an abject disaster. If this keeps up, he'll own the worst rookie season ever by a No. 1 pick. Anthony Bennett is having the worst rookie season of any No. 1 pick in the past 24 seasons and it isn't even close. His PER — a whopping 1.1 — is 10.1 lower than Kwame Brown, a player considered one of the biggest busts in draft history. That's the next closest player to him. The rookie-year PER gap between Bennett and Brown is nearly equal to the gap between Brown and Kyrie Irving (10.2). The signs are everywhere. A simple YouTube search for "Anthony Bennett" pulls up a five-minute video featuring all of his misses during the first 12 games of the season. It has over 71,000 views. I bailed out around the three-minute mark after the clank of the rim and deafening disappointment left my ears ringing and heart sunken.
Anthony Bennett's historically bad rookie season
SB Nation | Jan 14