Mad Ants rookie Ben Bentil signs 10-day contract with the Dallas Mavericks

Bentil averaged 14.5 points and 5.0 rebounds per game in 13 appearances with the Mad Ants.

Fort Wayne Mad Ants center Ben Bentil wanted nothing more than an opportunity. That’s what he has worked for, a chance to showcase his talents.

Bentil, a rookie out of Providence, has been called up to The Association for the first time by the Dallas Mavericks. The 6-foot-9 center signed a 10-day contract on Sunday.

So far, his rookie year has been far from the usual. Bentil was in camp with the Boston after being selected 51st overall in the 2016 NBA Draft. The Celtics gave its second-round pick $250,000 guaranteed. However, with an excess of young talent, Bentil felt throughout camp that he was an odd man out.

“All I know is I didn’t have a good shot [to make the team] over there and my agent and I was open to other [to other options] and the Pacers organization gave me a shot,” Bentil explained in October. “I’m just going to take this opportunity and give it my all.”

Bentil talks with Ryan Carr, the Pacers’ Director of Scouting.

After playing in just one game in Fort Wayne, Bentil went overseas to join Xinjiang Flying Tigers in China. He appeared in 11 games, averaged 13.7 points and 4.8 rebounds in 20.9 minutes per game, and then returned to the Mad Ants on Jan. 16.

“I remember when we worked out Ben in the summer for a pre-draft workout and he can definitely score the basketball,” Mad Ants coach Steve Gansey said after signing Bentil.

“Right when I heard the rumor that he would be signed and then be with us, I watched a lot of film on him in Synergy. I think he can be really effective in the D-League, especially with his shooting ability.”

Over the last six weeks, Bentil played in a dozen Mad Ants games and averaged 14.5 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. He reached double figures in nine of 13 games, including the last three. He could rebound better, and his offensive efficiency (35-percent shooting) still needs work.

Bentil made three starts, including his latest appearance on Friday where he finished with 19 points (on 5-of-17 shooting) and four rebounds in a 125-115 loss to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

“An opportunity is all anybody needs,” the 21-year-old said after joining the Pacers. “Going to Fort Wayne will be a blessing. I’ll get to play a little more and I’ll get to show what I can do.”

The Pacers, by the way, invested $50,000 in Bentil plus his D-League salary.

What the Pacers told him then: “Just keep being me. Be consistent with my work ethic, with my shot. Keep playing defense – stop the ball, be able to guard multiple positions, and just be a great team player.”

Then on Feb. 26th, the Mavericks signed Bentil along with fellow rookie Quinn Cook, a four-year guard from Duke who went undrafted last June.

Bentil will wear No. 42.

At 23-35, the Mavericks are in full re-tool mode. They signed point guard Yogi Ferrell for the rest of the season, acquired Nerlens Noel, traded away Andrew Bogut, and waived veteran point guard Deron Williams.

As Bentil said, “An opportunity is all anybody needs.” He has gotten one … and we saw how that worked out for Ferrell, the Indy product. Bentil’s 10-day contract includes games against Miami, at Atlanta, and Memphis.

There are no comments yet. Be the first and leave a response!

Leave a Reply

Wanting to leave an <em>phasis on your comment?

Trackback URL