Toronto Raptors waive former number one overall draft pick Anthony Bennett

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Just one day before the playoff eligibility deadline, the Toronto Raptors have waived former number one draft pick, Anthony Bennett.

The 22-year-old was only seeing an average of 4.4 minutes a night prior to his release and the current second seeds in the east look set to grab Jason Thompson as his replacement.

NBA Champions, the Golden State Warriors, waived Thompson last week to make room for the incoming Anderson Varejao and the New Jersey-born forward is an eight-year veteran of the league.

The 29-year-old owns career averages of nine points and nearly seven boards an outing, which dwarfs the production Bennett was offering to the tune of 4.2 points and 3.1 rebounds.

Given the seven years difference in the two, it could be argued that Bennett has more potential to exploit down the road than the 6'11" Thompson.

However, the Raptors are clearly thinking about the present and affording themselves the best opportunities to excel in the postseason.

Toronto-born Bennett was something of a college phenomenon after excelling in his freshmen year with UNLV. He deciding to forgo his final three years of college and enter the NBA Draft with a ton of buzz surrounding him.

The Canadian arrived in Cleveland as their number one pick overall in 2013 but in the three subsequent seasons - which have yielded only three starts in Minnesota - the forward has failed to live up to the hype conventionally bestowed upon the number one pick.

Shams Charania of The Vertical has reported that the Phoenix Suns may be interested in taking a chance on Bennett once he clears waivers.

That would make perfect sense for all concerned parties. The Suns moved Markieff Morris to the Washington Wizards before the trade deadline and are light on big men in the frontcourt.

The Arizona franchise also sits second from bottom in the Western Conference and hold the third-worst record in the league - period.

There's nothing for the Suns to lose with this one. They, hopefully, acquire a young player hungry to prove his worth to this league and rebuild his reputation while the Suns have virtually no hope of making the playoffs.

And with a salary under $1 million dollars, it's not a costly endeavor, either.

In truth, it was always going to be difficult for Bennett to flourish with the Raptors, given the talent that lines their ranks. DeMarre Carroll and Terrence Ross are two prominent figures in his forward positions and much of the Raptors play is centered around their dynamic backcourt duo of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan.

When you consider the team's offensive outlook, even if Bennett could have gained more minutes in Canada, he might not have grabbed the numbers to justify his once exciting reputation.

With the Suns, however, Bennett will likely provide support for Alex Len and Mirza Teletovic in the wake of Kris Humphries move to the Atlanta Hawks. This deal has the potential to be a good fit.

Eastern Conference
Toronto Raptors
Atlantic Division
Phoenix Suns
Pacific Division
Western Conference

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