New York Knicks should select Cole Anthony in the 2020 NBA Draft

Cole Anthony, University of North Carolina Tar Heels. (Photo by Andy Mead/ISI Photos/Getty Images)
Cole Anthony, University of North Carolina Tar Heels. (Photo by Andy Mead/ISI Photos/Getty Images) /

The New York Knicks should seriously consider selecting North Carolina point guard Cole Anthony in this year’s NBA Draft.

Currently, the sixth-worst team in the National Basketball Association, the New York Knicks are 21-45. They will have a top 10 pick in this year’s draft regardless if the NBA finishes the 2019-20 season or goes straight into the playoffs.

This year’s NBA Draft is supposed to be at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on June 25. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, there’s uncertainty about when the draft will actually take place.

Regardless of when the draft will happen, the Knickerbockers will have to start figuring out who their top targets should be. One of them should be freshman point guard Cole Anthony from the University of North Carolina. Anthony declared for the NBA Draft earlier this month:

The 6-3 guard is a born a bred New Yorker and a life long New York Knicks fan. His father is Greg Anthony, former Knicks first-round pick (1991) and point guard for four seasons. Anthony’s been a top prospect throughout high school (where he averaged a triple-double during his senior year at Oak Hill Academy) and spent his freshman year of college in Chapel Hill.

His lone season as a Tar Heel didn’t go as planned. Anthony was averaging 18.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 1.3 steals in 22 games. Before a right knee injury sidelined him, he was shooting 38% from the field and 34.8% from three.

In December, the freshman guard underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair a partially torn meniscus. He recovered and rejoined the team. Over his final 11 games, after returning from surgery, Anthony averaged 17.5 points and 4.5 assists.

Overall, Anthony finished his freshman season averaging 18.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.3 steals, and 3.5 turnovers. He shot 38% from the field, 34.8% from three, and 75% from the free-throw line.

North Carolina was an uncharacteristic 14-19 before the season shut down. Some blame was thrown Anthony’s way since he was the best player on the team. Back in January, UNC’s head coach Roy Williams said that this year’s group of players was “the least gifted team I’ve ever coached.”

Now, if you’re a Knicks fan, you probably think why I would vouch for someone who seems to be a poor shooter, especially from three-point range who also turns the ball over so much.

There’s a legitimate case to say that the reason for Anthony’s poor play at UNC was due to a lack of talent around him.

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He felt like he needed to do more to help the team win. In other words, he was doing too much to try to compensate for the team’s weak roster.

The 19-year-old has the chance to be a special player in the league if he’s surrounded by quality NBA talent. Many scouts had Anthony as a top-five pick in this year’s draft before the college basketball season started.

After a shaky season, he seems to have dropped. If Anthony is available when the New York Knicks are on the clock, they have to pick him to be their point guard of the future.

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It would be fun to see him play for his favorite team growing up. The story is just too good.