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2020 NBA Draft Profiles: Cole Anthony

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Will Anthony fall to 18 and could he be the winning lottery ticket for the Mavs?

ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament - First Round Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Cole Anthony is a well known for being the son of former NBA guard Greg Anthony and coming into the season was predicted to be a top five draft pick in the 2020 draft. But he struggled a bit, following an injury playing at UNC.

Prior to college, Anthony led an impressive high school group at the famous Oak Hill Academy. While his time as a Tarheel was short-lived and semi-underwhelming, it’s somewhat shocking that his draft stock has fallen in this manner. He suffered a knee injury that required him to get surgery and miss 4-6 weeks.

However, he bounced back and proved that he could still put up impressive, if inefficient, numbers. According to Tankathon, he’s currently predicted to be drafted by the Miami Heat at 20th overall. If he’s available at 18 and the Mavericks hang on to that pick, Dallas should absolutely Anthony as he could be the homerun of the draft.

The Specs

Height: 6’3”

Weight: 184

Wingspan: 6’3.5”

Key Notes

Offense

  • Sneaky athleticism
  • Has range as a 3-point shooter, lots of confidence, needs to improve percentage
  • Good leadership skills and instincts
  • Young draft age
  • Good size for a guard, quick first step
  • No problem getting to the free throw line
  • Quick trigger on jump shot
  • Not afraid of contact when attacking the rim

Defense

  • Injury concerns
  • Athleticism allows him to get blocks and rebounds as a guard
  • Described to have “strong defensive potential”
  • Good help defender with his quickness and vision
  • Can only guard the one and two positions
  • Good defensive instincts

Active Player Comparisons

If everything goes wrong: Mo Williams

If everything goes right: Damian Lillard

Most Realistic Outcome: Early Jamal Murray + more defense

Stats and Accomplishments

Third-team All-ACC, ACC All-Freshman team

Best Games Last Season

vs. Notre Dame: 34 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists, 12-24 FGA (50%), 6-11 3FGA (55%)

vs. Duke: 24 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists, 7-17 FGA (41%), 9-10 FTA (90%)

vs. Wake Forest: 28 points, 4 rebounds, 7 assists, 8-14 FGA (57%), 4-5 3FGA (80%), 8-8 FTA (100%)

3 Key Things

  • The Potential

Anthony was predicted to be a top-five pick before this season started and he will only be 20 years old when he gets drafted, so he’s far from a finished product. With an already well-rounded game, he could instantly get quality minutes with Dallas. While Rick Carlisle is sometimes hesitant to give young guards a consistent spot in the rotation, Jalen Brunson solidified his role off the bench. Anthony could have a similar experience playing under Carlisle, simply because of his talent. Pair this talent with a top notch develpmental staff (Shammgod, for example), and player of Anthony’s pedigree could flourish.

  • Skillset+Size

When you look at Anthony, he’s built really well for a guard. He’s not thick, but he’s quite muscular. When he attacks the rim, he attacks with speed and power, which resulted in him averaging 6 free-throw attempts his freshman year at UNC.

His athleticism is impressive for a guy his size. He has the ability to beat bigger defenders off the dribble with his quickness while also scoring on top of smaller guards with his strength and vertical ability. Carlisle appreciates having different kinds of players at each position and Dallas does not have a guard like Anthony. He could be the athletic, quick guard that brings offense off the bench while still proving to be a reliable defender.

  • Room to improve as a shooter

After only shooting 35% at North Carolina, he’s not looked at as a lights-out three-point shooter. If you watch his tape though, it’s clear that he does not hesitate at all shooting from distance.

On a Dallas team that has so many offensive weapons, it’s reasonable to assume his shooting numbers could improve from getting better looks. That in combination with his off the dribble attack, quick first step, and impressive bounce could prove to be a real problem for opposing defenses.

The Checklist

Role with the Mavericks

This would largely depend on what else Dallas does with it’s various back court players. Anthony is a score-first guard, similar to Trey Burke. However, he has more athleticism and size. He has an incredibly well-rounded offensive game plus a solid defensive presence. That’s where he could replace Wright because god knows we need defense. While some people complained about Wright’s lack of offense overshadowing what defense he brought to the table, that wouldn’t be the case with Cole. While there are some players in the draft that I feel need more development before they can expect to get quality minutes in any team’s rotation, Anthony is not one of those players. He could have an instant impact as a rookie.

Summary

If Anthony is available, Dallas has to consider take him. His ceiling is incredibly high and even though he had a significant knee injury, he proved that he could perform at the same level after recovering. His potential is so high that he could eventually work his way into the starting lineup in future seasons if he continues to grow and stay healthy. I really like what Anthony brings to the table and if he’s a Maverick come November, I’m going to be thrilled.