Anthony Bennett returned to his hometown Toronto for this coming season. In the third season of his NBA career, Bennett is eyeing to lift his overall game featuring for the Toronto Raptors.
Bennett was picked by Cleveland Cavaliers as first overall pick two years ago, a selection that surprised everyone.
“Lots of ups and downs,” Bennett told Yahoo Sports. “There a couple [things] you got to avoid. There are also a lot of people you have to have in your circle, like family and friends, who tell you to keep your head up. That’s pretty much what I’ve been going through.”
Whether that created extra-pressure on Bennett led to his under-performance in the last two seasons has been a relevant question.
“I’m cool with it,” he said. “Going No. 1 made history for Canada. For myself, it was a big accomplishment, but it’s a lot of work.”
Raptors GM Masai Ujiri was amazed at the pick.
“It was surprising,” the Raptors GM Masai Ujiri said. “We didn’t know if there was a clear-cut guy. It was a random draft a little bit.” Ujiri now wants Bennett to develop as a matured player in his team.
“We look at giving Anthony an opportunity to actually grow and be a player,” Ujiri said. “It’s not a one-year thing here. It’s going to take time. All that No. 1 pick and all that stuff, we had a conversation with him. Let’s move on from that. Now it’s about how you become a very good NBA player, which we all know he can be.”
Bennett averaged 4.2 points and three rebounds in 52 games during his rookie season with Cleveland.