Former Cavaliers GM David Griffin said Anthony Bennett had "no desire to overcome adversity whatsoever."

By Khadrice Rollins
October 24, 2017

In an excerpt from his book The Blueprint: LeBron James, Cleveland's Deliverance, and the Making of the Modern NBA, Jason Lloyd of The Athletic wrote how former Cavaliers general manager Chris Grant did not want to draft Anthony Bennett with the No. 1 pick in the 2013 draft.

"Grant was high on (Ben) McLemore, but everyone knew he wasn’t in Irving’s league in terms of talent and ability" Lloyd writes. "So when the Cavs front office sat down before the draft to cast their vote on who to take, the final tally was 9-1 in favor of Bennett. The one vote against taking him? Chris Grant."

Despite Grant's reservations, Cleveland went forward with drafting Bennett with the top pick. Lloyd also noted that the Cavaliers tried to acquire the No. 7 pick from the Kings to get McLemore, but Sacramento wanted to draft him.

David Griffin, Cleveland's vice president of basketball operations at the time, told Lloyd that his top choice in the draft was Victor Oladipo, who went second to the Magic. He also said he felt bad that Grant got so much of the blame for the Bennett pick because Grant wasn't sold on taking him.

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“The issue with Anthony was, and we had no way of knowing it at the time, the kid had no desire to overcome adversity whatsoever. As soon as it was hard, he was out,” Griffin told Lloyd. “His whole life, he rolled out of bed bigger, better, and more talented than everybody else. As soon as it was hard, it was over. And I was the one on campus at UNLV. I’m the one who got sold the bill of goods and I bought it hook, line, and sinker. You f--- up sometimes. But I feel bad Chris took it for that, because Chris was the one guy who wasn’t sure.”

Bennett played one year in Cleveland before being traded along with the 2014 No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins, to the Timberwolves for Kevin Love. After one year in Minnesota, Bennett went Toronto for a season and then Brooklyn the season after that. He started four of the 151 games he played in his career and only played 42 games over his last two seasons.

Other notable members of the 2013 draft include Giannis Antetokounmpo (No. 15 to the Bucks), Rudy Gobert (No. 27 to the Nuggets and traded to the Jazz), Dennis Schroder (No. 17 to the Hawks), Steven Adams (No. 12 to the Thunder), Tim Hardaway Jr. (No. 24 to the Knicks), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (No. 8 to the Pistons) and Allen Crabbe (No. 31 to the Cavaliers and traded to Trail Blazers).

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