NBA Mock Draft 2013: Predicting the First 10 Picks

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6. New Orleans Pelicans: Anthony Bennett, UNLV (PF)

Age: 20 (Freshman)

Height/Weight: 6’7″/239 lbs.

Mar 21, 2013; San Jose, CA, USA; UNLV Rebels forward Anthony Bennett (15) looks to pass the ball against California Golden Bears guard Justin Cobbs (1) during the second half of the second round of the 2013 NCAA tournament at HP Pavilion. The California Golden Bears defeated the UNLV Rebels 64-61. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Right off the bat, Bennett is a bit small for a power forward at 6’7″ in shoes. However, look at the other physical number there. His frame is large at  239 lbs. Add that to a wingspan of 7’1″, and you’ve got a bonafide forward whose attributes make up for his shortcomings on paper.

Additionally, Bennett is a superior athlete as well as having high amounts of body control and surprising quickness for someone as large as he is. If you need to visualize or compare, consider the fact that in shoes, Bennett is five inches shorter but 33 pounds heavier than Nerlens Noel.

Bennett’s major selling point is his advanced offensive skills. He puts the ball on the floor very well, and displays versatility in his weapon set. He ranks as one of the most productive players in the country among all college players. His back-to-the-basket game could have some improvement, but under the basket, he converts 74 percent of his attempts. He also shows some craftiness in the paint because his massive wingspan gives allowed him to finish well.  Plus, he can hit threes, and has range to his shot.

To add even more, he handles exceptionally for someone at his position, having the ability to attack from the perimeter from either side.

But here’s the issue, small as it may be: He plays poorly on defense. He plays slow on the defensive side of the ball, in addition to the fact that he gives up deep position to matchups and relaxes too much, unfocusing a bit. His rebounding can also be inconsistent.

Either way, a frontcourt comprised of, say, him at the power forward and Anthony Davis running center in a small lineup, makes the newly named Pelicans front court a force to be reckoned with. That helps with a team that showed some potential, especially since they have a shot at redeeming the failed Austin Rivers project.