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NBA No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett shaping up to be a bust

Updated: December 25, 2013 6:15AM



Rookie power forward Anthony Bennett of the Cleveland Cavaliers is heading toward uncharted territory.

After being the No. 1 pick in the 2013 draft, Bennett already is carrying the ‘‘bust’’ label on his hefty — and very out-of-shape-looking — shoulders.

The Cavaliers’ front office reportedly discussed the idea of sending Bennett to the D-League before deciding that practicing and playing against NBA talent would be a better option to improve his skills.

The other teams in the Central Division have been the biggest beneficiaries of the Cavaliers’ selection of Bennett. It was thought the Cavs were an up-and-coming team, enough of a future powerhouse that LeBron James supposedly would entertain the idea of returning to his original team after opting out of his contract next summer.

That’s not happening now. James isn’t the type of player to commit career suicide.

The Cavs are still a mess. And while far too many have tried to anoint Kyrie Irving as the next great point guard, all he has proved night in and night out is that he consistently looks uninterested.

◆ Better starting five: Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Jimmy Butler, Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng or Rose, Noah, Butler, Nikola Mirotic and Carmelo Anthony? Hmmm. Just asking.

◆ Kobe Bryant is close to returning to the court for the Los Angeles Lakers. Nothing like having their leader back to teach the young guys about selfishness and bad shot selection.

Player of the week

LeBron James, Miami Heat forward: Dwyane Wade was resting a bum knee. But as James showed last season in the NBA Finals, who needs him? With Robin on the shelf, Batman had the Heat on a five-game winning streak, not only putting up gaudy all-around numbers but making his teammates better.

Team of the week

Portland Trail Blazers: They were supposed to make some noise in 2014-15, but they seem to have arrived a season early. Nine consecutive victories through Friday gave them the second-best record in the West.

The big five

1. Indiana Pacers, 2. Heat, 3. San Antonio Spurs, 4. Golden State Warriors, 5. Trail Blazers.

Awful for Andrew

There are three teams bad enough to start tanking in hopes
of drafting Kansas freshman
Andrew Wiggins: 1. Utah Jazz,
2. Milwaukee Bucks, 3. Sacramento Kings.

Big number

2006 The last time the Bulls beat the Nuggets in Denver after dropping their seventh in a row Thursday at the Pepsi Center.

Two to watch
for week of Nov. 24-30

Warriors at Oklahoma City Thunder, 7 p.m. Friday: Two of the sweetest jumpers — those of Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant — in the game and two teams that don’t like each other.

Houston Rockets at Spurs, 7:30 p.m. Saturday: A battle of Texas, with the Rockets trying to find some consistency.

Email: jcowley@suntimes.com



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