Former number one overall pick Anthony Bennett is on the verge of being bought out by the Minnesota Timberwolves. The two sides have reportedly agreed on a contract buyout, but terms of the deal has yet to be publicized.
This story was first reported by Yahoo Sports' Shams Charania, citing unnamed league sources, days after the speculation as to whether or not Minnesota would waive Bennett broke out over the past week. It now appears that the team will indeed buy out the power forward's $5.8 million contract.
The interesting part about this supposed deal is that it was actually Bennett himself who initiated the buyout. The player wanted to leave the Minnesota Timberwolves in order to control his "fate and success" with a new NBA team, Charania pointed out.
The deal will put the 22-year-old forward on waiver, allowing whatever team with sufficient cap room or trade exception big enough to shoulder the $5,803,560 salary to acquire him. However, Bennett will need to undergo the waiver process before being able to choose his destination. As early as now, there are a couple of teams that may look into claiming him and one of them is the Philadelphia 76ers.
It is said that four teams have enough salary cap space or trade exception needed to assume Bennett's contract: Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trail Blazers, Utah Jazz, and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Yahoo Sports explained that "Bennett was stuck behind several frontcourt players in Minnesota and wanted the chance to pursue his career elsewhere. His representatives are hopeful that no team claims him on waivers and that he will have the opportunity to pick his next destination as a free agent. Philadelphia and Portland plan to look carefully at the possibility of claiming Bennett."
On the other hand, two teams have allegedly expressed disinterest in acquiring Bennett. The Dallas Mavericks will skip over the power forward as sports journalist Mike Fisher mentioned on Twitter, "#Mavs sources tell DallasBasketball.com they've no interest in Anthony Bennett. No room at the inn."
The Toronto Raptors already has its plate full and cannot accommodate the Canadian player anymore. "Expectation is Bennett will land somewhere, but Raptors not likely among the suitors; front court pretty full," Sports Net's Michael Grange said.
Anthony Bennett was the number one pick during the 2013 NBA Draft. However, he has failed to develop into a relatively serviceable rotation player as he only averaged 5.2 points and 3.8 rebounds in 15.7 minutes per game for the Timberwolves last season.