Further proof that not all trends are cool, UNLV forward Anthony Bennett is the latest projected high lottery selection undergoing surgery heading into the draft process.
Bennett, the third highest rated 2013 prospect per DraftExpress.com, will undergo rotator cuff surgery and miss four months according to NBA.com's David Aldridge. That time frame eliminates the 6-foot-7 freshman from participating in pre-draft workouts and summer league games, though puts him back for NBA training camps.
Maryland center Alex Len, another top-10 prospect, recently underwent ankle surgery which will sideline him 4-6 months. Kentucky center Nerlens Noel tore his ACL back in February yet the shot blocker remains the top-rated prospect on most public draft boards. Another potential top-14 selection, Lehigh guard C.J. McCollum's senior season ended after breaking his foot in January.
In his only season on the college level, Bennett averaged 16.1 points and 8.1 rebounds, was named Mountain West Conference Rookie of the Year and led UNLV to the NCAA Tournament. Though undersized, the power-packed and long-armed Canadian attacks the glass with passion. Combined with his scoring knack inside and out -- he shot 37.5 from beyond the 3-point arc last season -- Bennett is considered the top power forward prospect in the draft.
The NBA Draft takes place on June 27. In years past, undergoing surgery at this point in the process would likely negatively impact a player's draft stock. Maybe it's the modern medical techniques/Adrian Peterson factor or the reality that this particular draft class is lacking premier talent, but Bennett likely remains a high-end pick.
Arguments can be made for all four injured players landing with the Wizards. Washington's current needs include bench scoring, guard depth, a power forward with range and a future rim-protector behind Emeka Okafor.
Depending on the draft order and perhaps how Bennett fared during the workout process, it was not inconceivable to imagine Bennett still on the board for the Wizards with the eighth or ninth pick. That seems even more plausible now if teams had any concerns about the forward before the injury. Whether a franchise with an ugly history of injuries and one looking to make a sincere playoff push next season would want to tab Bennett is now the question.