Anthony Bennett had 15 points and eight rebounds in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday. It was a good game for Bennett, the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.
It was also Bennett’s first double-digit scoring game of his career.
As Kurt wrote, it’s too soon to write off Bennett completely. But he has soooo much ground to make up relative to other No. 1 picks, even the established busts.
Just how much behind the curve is Bennett?
Most No. 1 picks – really, closer to two-thirds than half – scored double-digits in their first game. It took Bennett until his 33rd game – three times as long as any other top pick on record.
(Click chart to enlarge)
If you look closely, a few top picks don’t appear in the chart. The explanations:
- 1954: Frank Selvy scored 1,348 points in 71 games his rookie year, making it extremely unlikely he took longer than Bennett. But Selvy began his first season with the Baltimore Bullets, who disbanded after 14 games. Their statistics are unavailable through Basketball-Reference or NBA.com.
- 1951: Gene Melchiorre was the No. 1 pick by the Baltimore Bullets, but before he ever played in the NBA, the league banned him for life due to a point-shaving scandal while he was at Bradley.
- 1947: Clifton McNeeley, the top selection of the Pittsburgh Ironmen, opted to coach high school basketball rather than play professionally.
VIZZINI: “So, it is down to you. And it is down to me.”
MAN IN BLACK nods and comes nearer…
MAN IN BLACK: “Perhaps an arrangement can be reached.”
VIZZINI: “There will be no arrangement…”
MAN IN BLACK: “But if there can be no arrangement, then we are at an impasse.”
That farcical scene from The Princess Bride pretty much sums up where we are with the Tristan Thompson holdout with the Cleveland Cavaliers, minus the Iocane powder. (Although that scene was a battle of wits in the movie and this process seems to lack much wit.) The Cavaliers have put a five-year, $80 million offer on the table. Thompson wants a max deal (or at least a more than has been offered), but he also doesn’t want to play for the qualifying offer and didn’t sign it. LeBron James just wants the two sides just to get it done.
Brian Windhorst of ESPN thinks LeBron could be very disappointed.
Windhorst was on the Zach Lowe podcast at Grantland (which you should be listening to anyway) and had this to say about the Thompson holdout:
“I actually believe it will probably go months. This will go well into the regular season.”
Windhorst compared it to a similar situation back in 2007 with Anderson Varejao, which eventually only broke because the then Charlotte Bobcats signed Varejao to an offer sheet. Thompson is a restricted free agent, meaning the Cavaliers can match any offer, but only Portland and Philadelphia have the cap space right now to offer him a max contract. Neither team has shown any interest in doing so.
And so we wait. And we may be waiting a while.
ProBasketballTalk’s Kurt Helin explains why he believes the Sacramento Kings have enough pieces to potentially make a run at the final playoff spot in the West.