After an underwhelming freshman year, Bentil exploded during his sophomore season at Providence, attracting NBA attention and ultimately convincing himself to declare for the draft. Though he was overshadowed by Friars point guard and surefire top-10 pick Kris Dunn, Bentil averaged 21.4 points (17th in the nation) and 7.7 rebounds.
Born in Ghana, Bentil moved to the United States when he was 15 to pursue a quality education, not for basketball-related reasons. He actually spent his first year away from home just outside of Philadelphia, attending the Haverford School, before moving to St. Andrew’s School in Middletown, Delaware.
Bentil has a knack for putting the ball in the hole. At Providence, he created plenty of matchup problems for opposing defenses, overpowering guards in the post and draining jumpers against big men wary of his ability to drive by them. He also knows how to draw contact, as he averaged about seven free throws attempts. He shot an impressive 78.2 percent from the charity stripe.
While the long-range shot is not Bentil’s forte, he wasn't afraid to shoot the three, going 52 for 158 (32.9 percent) on the year. Given he didn’t start playing basketball until he was a teenager, Bentil’s jumper is one of a number of areas where he may have the potential to improve.
To put it politely, Bentil didn’t like to pass the ball. He averaged a measly 1.1 assists last season despite often drawing double teams on the wing or upon receiving the ball in the post.
When Bentil wasn’t doubled, he sometimes failed to score efficiently against overmatched defenders, shooting 46.2 percent on the season. Several times each game, Bentil would launch contested, cringe-worthy jumpers that you wouldn’t even want the Warriors' vaunted Splash Brothers taking. You could chalk that up to the reliance on Bentil to score, but his shot selection is still a serious concern.
On the defensive side of the ball, Bentil didn’t appear NBA-ready. He doesn’t have great lateral quickness and will need to put significant muscle on his 230-pound frame if he hopes to cope in the post with NBA big men.
How he’d fit with the Sixers
He'd be a scorer off the bench, a role the Sixers definitely aren’t prioritizing at the moment. With the Sixers’ needs across the board, it doesn’t make much sense for the Sixers to use one of their late first-round picks on a player with obvious weaknesses such as Bentil, who doesn’t seem suited for a starting spot in the NBA.
Think T.J. Warren of the Suns or Patrick Patterson of the Raptors. A 6-foot-8 dominant college scorer who will contribute in the NBA by scoring on the mediocre defense of threes and fours on opposing second-units.
While the Suns or Warriors could take a chance on Bentil late in the first round, I see Phoenix eventually grabbing him in the second round at No. 34.