After appearing in just a single D-League game for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, rookie power forward Ben Bentil is headed to China as an injury replacement, according to Adam Johnson of D-League Digest, who adds (via Twitter) that Fort Wayne is expecting Bentil back later in the season.
It has been an eventful offseason for Bentil, who left Providence after his sophomore year to enter the NBA draft, then was selected 51st overall by the Celtics. Boston, however, had a crowded roster and didn’t have room for Bentil — the team hoped to send him to its D-League affiliate in Maine after giving him a $250K guarantee. Instead, Bentil briefly signed with the Pacers – who gave him a $50K guarantee – and joined Indiana’s D-League affiliate in Fort Wayne.
In his first and only contest with the Mad Ants, Bentil led the club to a blowout victory with a team-high 27 points and 10 rebounds in 45 minutes. Just a few days later though, it appears he has received a more enticing offer from a Chinese team.
Terms of Bentil’s new deal aren’t known, but if it’s a standard CBA contract, he’ll be in China until at least February, and potentially longer than that if his team makes a postseason run. Dakota Schmidt of Ridiculous Upside tweets that Fort Wayne expects Bentil back in about two months, so the 21-year-old may not play the full CBA season.
Because he was waived by Celtics, Bentil’s NBA rights are no longer held by Boston, meaning he could be picked up by any of the league’s 30 teams upon his return if he impresses overseas.