At 23 years old, Anthony Bennett is already trying to rebuild his basketball career. After the former No. 1 pick was released by the Brooklyn Nets earlier this week, he has landed with Fenerbahce Istanbul in Turkey, according to overseas hoops reporter David Pick.
Former No. 1 draft pick Anthony Bennett has signed with Euroleague power-club Fenerbahce, according to source.
— David Pick (@IAmDPick) January 12, 2017
Fenerbahce has a four other former NBAers on its roster, some of whom also did not live up to draft expectations: Ekpe Udoh (6th overall, 2010) and Jan Vesely (6th overall, 2011). Both players have built respectable careers there since leaving the NBA, making last year’s All-Euroleague teams. This year, Udoh is averaging 12.2 points and 7.5 rebounds while Vesely is also hitting double figures with 10.6 points per game.
Bennett is also the second former No. 1 pick to sign in Europe this season. Andrea Bargnani signed with Baskonia in July, although Bargnani at least had a handful of productive NBA seasons and is eight years older than Bennett.
The move to Europe is not the worst thing in the world for Bennett, all things considered. Fenerbahce is a solid European team, coming off a 2016 Turkish league title and back-to-back Euroleague Final Four appearances.
In 2015, Fenerbahce became just the third European to beat a NBA team in the United States, defeating the Nets 101-96 at Barclays Center. This year, they have a 10-7 record and are in 5th place in the Euroleague.