Cavs’ Bennett: ‘I could’ve been a whole lot better’

CLEVELAND — No. 1 overall draft pick Anthony Bennett doesn’t think his rookie season was a complete loss.

That’s not to say the Cavaliers forward was thrilled with how things played out. He just understands that this rocky season is merely a small sample of what he still believes will be a long and fruitful career.

"I’ve learned a lot," he said before the season-finale vs. the visiting Brooklyn Nets, a 114-85 win. "Obviously, I could’ve been a whole lot better."

Bennett returned to the lineup for Wednesday’s finale, scoring seven points with an encouraging seven rebounds in 15 minutes. He had missed the previous 17 games with a left patellar tendon strain. For the season (prior to Wednesday), Bennett averaged 4.1 points and 2.9 rebounds.

Not exactly a stellar year for a guy who was, at the very least, expected to be an immediate contributor off the bench for what the Cavs figured to be a playoff team. Instead, Bennett and the Cavs ended their season Wednesday, finishing with a disappointing record of 33-49.

But Bennett just turned 21 last month and, again, is taking the approach that there is still time. He wants to drop some weight (he’s 6-foot-8, 260 pounds) and expects to see plenty of action in the NBA Summer League in July.

"I just got to be prepared next season," he said.