The Anthony Bennett era in Brooklyn came to an abrupt end this morning when the Nets waived the former #1 overall pick:
Moving on from Bennett is not particularly surprising, but it is rather disappointing that Bennett was not able to succeed during his time in Brooklyn. Bennett played in 23 games and started one but averaged only 5.0 points and 3.4 rebounds in 11.5 minutes per game.
Bennett shot only 41.3% from the field, but a much more troubling 27.1% on three-pointers. Part of Bennett’s appeal coming out of UNLV was his 37.5% mark from behind the arc. Bennett only topped 30% on three-pointers in his 2014-2015 season in Minnesota—where he shot 30.4%. Bennett has been closer to the 33%-35% range in international play, so it is possible that he never got adjusted to the NBA line.
Bennett also struggled mightily on the defensive end. Although the Nets as a team have issues on that end of the floor, Bennett still stood out due to how often he looked lost on that end. Bennett posted the second-worst defensive plus-minus on the team for players with more than 200 minutes per Basketball-Reference. Opponents shot 5.6% better against Bennett than league average, who allowed a 49.5% mark.
Anthony Bennett’s next stop might be somewhere in Europe or China, where he could hopefully get his career back on track. A number of NBA players, most famously Gerald Green and Hassan Whiteside, flamed out in the NBA at a young age only to come back to the NBA and succeed after a few years away. Given Bennett’s play for Team Canada and the shorter FIBA three-point line, he may well be able to take advantage of a fresh shot in a different league. However, his inability to succeed for a Brooklyn team in need of talented young players with potential would appear to signal at least a temporary end to his NBA career.
Brooklyn went in a very different direction for his replacement by signing Quincy Acy from the Texas Legends. Acy fell out of the Dallas Mavericks rotation very early in the season but was an occasional spot starter and regular rotation player for the Sacramento Kings last season.
Acy is a quintessential hustle player whose effort is probably his best NBA skill. Acy is somewhat undersized for a power forward at 6'7," but nonetheless he is not afraid to battle for position on either end of the floor:
On the offensive end, Acy is the type of player who never tries to do too much. He sets nasty screens most of the time and cuts to the rim for dunks whenever he gets a chance. 63.0% of his baskets last season were from the restricted area. Acy's refusal to take shots he could not make meant that he was incredibly efficient when he did decide to shoot the ball. Acy ranked in the 98th percentile of offensive efficiency last season per Synergy Sports, scoring 1.13 points per possession.
One impressive skill that the Nets may look to take advantage of is Acy's three-point shooting. Acy had taken 17 three-pointers in his career prior to his 2014-2015 season with the Knicks but shot the occasional triple for both the Knicks and the Kings. He only shot 30% on three-pointers in New York but managed to increase that number to 38.8% last season in Sacramento. The Nets shoot more three-pointers per game than any team besides the Rockets and the Cavaliers, so Acy will likely get a chance to show whether last season's shooting was an aberration or part of a trend.
The Nets may not end up sticking with Acy long-term. After all, a 10-day contract is certainly no guarantee of a future with the team. However, Stein also reported that his Mavericks teammates were "crushed when [Acy] was let go to address a backcourt injury crisis" and added that he was surprised that no one had tried to sign Acy before today. Bennett has proven to not be a solution at backup power forward, and Luis Scola has been capable offensively but an issue on the defensive end.
Quincy Acy will hopefully get an opportunity to prove himself in the wake of the disappointing season from Anthony Bennett. He may not have the potential or draft pedigree of Bennett, but he has proven a lot more over the course of his career. If he can shoot as well as he did last season from deep and provide hustle and athleticism for the Nets bench, he might finish the season in Brooklyn and earn himself a solid chance at making next season's roster. Acy might not have much upside at 26, but he has earned another chance in Brooklyn for a team that will certainly be able to make use of his skills.