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NBA Toronto Raptors Anthony Bennett

Raptors Waive Anthony Bennett To Sign Jason Thompson

It’s about time, the Anthony Bennett experiment is over for now. Toronto Raptors president and general manager Masai Ujiri has finally decided to add a little bit of hopefully useful depth on his bench by picking up veteran 6’11 big man Jason Thompson who had been waived by the Warriors last week to make room for Anderson Varejao.



Bennett has struggled in the NBA, starting with being drafted number one overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2013 despite being injured prior to the draft. Injuries and what looked like a lack of confidence or maybe trust in his surgically repaired shoulder seem like the logical reason why Bennett was never able to live up the expectations of a lottery pick let alone being number one.

The Raptors took a flyer on him this past summer and handed Bennett the 15th spot on their roster, but in 19 appearances, he just didn’t perform. Throw out the low points and rebounds, he shot 30.8 percent from the field and 21.4 percent from three-point range and didn’t look good on defense either. More would have been expected from any third year player.

Even the Mississauga Raptors 905 didn’t bring out the best in him. Bennett shot just 33.9 percent from the field and 25 percent from deep against the want-to-bes and hopefuls in the NBA D-League. His 9.2 points and 3.1 rebounds was beyond disappointing at this level.

The 29-year-old Thompson is an eight-year NBA veteran who has started 406 NBA games. He played for the Kings until being traded last summer to the Warriors.

In Sacramento Thompson had career averages of 9.4 points and 6.9 rebounds in 26.5 minutes, but on a deep Warriors team there were few opportunities to play.

In Toronto he will give head coach Dwane Casey a third string big man with solid NBA experience for those occasions when someone gets in foul trouble, is injured or maybe is just having an off night.



The Phoenix Suns may be interested in picking up Bennett. That would be good news for Team Canada as Bennett could be an important piece in the team’s drive to qualify for the Olympics later this summer.




Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.