Forward Anthony Bennett, the No. 1 selection in the 2013 NBA draft, has struggled during his first three years in the NBA and the next two weeks could be very important to him. Bennett has played well this summer with Team Canada and he needs to keep the momentum going during the FIBA Americas Olympic qualifying tournament. From Josh Lewenberg of TSN:
- "Free from the pressure and scrutiny that had consumed him as a young player in the NBA, Bennett has resembled his old self with the national team this summer. Making his debut with the senior club at the Pan American games last month, where Canada won silver, Bennett averaged 15.6 points and a tournament-high 9.4 rebounds. ... The smile has returned - you'll rarely catch him without it. He's healthy, he's slimmed down considerably and he has that bounce in his step again. ... Not to suggest that Bennett will, or even can reach stardom at the NBA level, but don't write him off just yet. Understandably, most will need to see the 6-foot-8 forward prove his worth against tougher competition before they buy in. At the upcoming FIBA Americas Championship in Mexico City, he'll be uniquely skilled at his position. He's considerably more athletic than most of the bigs he'll face. He runs faster and he jumps higher. In the NBA, he's just another player, until he separates himself. But, after a slow start to his professional career and just one more guaranteed year left on his contract, this is the perfect environment to help steer Bennett back on the right path."
The Minnesota Timberwolves have until Nov. 2 to exercise their team option for 2016-17 worth $7.31 million. The Wolves, at this time, are expected to decline the option, which would make Bennett an unrestricted free agent in 2016.