Anthony Bennett Will Join Toronto Raptors


According to multiple reports, Canadian Anthony Bennett will sign with the Toronto Raptors.

After a rough start to his NBA career, former No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett is returning home to where it all started.

According to multiple reports, the Toronto Raptors will sign Toronto native Anthony Bennett to a one-year league minimum deal reportedly worth $947,276.

Although the Philadelphia 76ers and Portland Trail Blazers had sufficient salary cap space to claim Bennett off waivers, both teams passed on his $5.8 million salary cap hit.

Jul 24, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Canada forward Anthony Bennett (10) dunks the ball against the United States in the men

Instead, Bennett not only walked away from the Minnesota Timberwolves with a $3.65 million buyout, he also gets to return home to Toronto and attempt to rejuvenate his career in front of family and friends.

With Bennett joining the Raptors, I’ll be the first to eat crow about this signing since I doubted it would happen. Poor prediction aside, though, adding Bennett is a quality low-risk, high-reward signing for the Raptors.

With four power forwards (Patrick Patterson, James Johnson, Luis Scola, DeMarre Carroll) ahead of Bennet on the depth chart, he certainly has his work cut out for him at training camp. However, if Bennett fulfills his potential, he could pay huge dividends for the Raptors.

Stashing Bennett in the D-League is also an option for Toronto, who recently acquired an affiliate team in Mississauga this summer. Pairing Bennett with Bruno Caboclo would certainly fill the seats at the Hershey Centre, and also allow both players time to refine their game.

No matter which way you look at it, though, Bennett has a lot of work to do before he makes an impact with the Raptors. Yes, he played well with Canada this summer, but it does not overshadow his struggles in the NBA, or his shoulder, sleep apnea, and vision issues, which have also hindered his game.

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Essentially, this is a new beginning for Bennett. A second chance of sorts. While for the Raptors, it doesn’t make them worse. In fact, if Bennett actually finds his game and becomes productive, he’ll become a valuable asset for Toronto.

As for the added pressures of playing at home, those will probably rest on Corey Joseph’s shoulders more than it will Bennett’s. I happened to bump into Bennett at a matinée Blue Jays game this summer where, to my surprise, hardly anyone noticed him. Granted, a few people took notice. But for the most part, Bennett was rarely bothered standing at the busy 200-level West Jet Flight Deck.

Considering where he’s at in his career, perhaps the 22-year-old Bennett could fly under the radar in a similar fashion with the Raptors, pending he makes the team of course.

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