Cole Anthony has been drafted with the number 15 overall pick by the Orlando Magic at last night in the 2020 NBA draft.
WHO IS COLE ANTHONY?
For those of us in the UK who rarely see college basketball this is a valid question. Many of our Stateside followers will already know the answer to this question. I’ll be honest to answer tis I’ve had to do some reading but what follows is what I’ve learnt.
Cole Anthony is a 6ft 3 point guard who draws comparison with Colin Sexton of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Anthony was once thought to be a potential No. 1 pick. Due to injury and playing on a bad team at North Carolina his position dropped.
There is already talk in the NBA media that the Magic may have got the draft’s most undervalued prospect.
As with all players drafted there are risks and no guarantee of success.
Cole is the son of the former Knicks player, Greg Anthony who was himself 12th pick from the 1991 NBA draft. On being drafted Cole cried saying “This is the best moment of my life right here”.
WHAT WILL COLE ANTHONY GIVE THE MAGIC?
Anthony can create his own shot and can make those shots as well. He is athletic, has a reliable pull up game and a self confidence. That is paired with an honesty about his failings and a willingness to learn to improve that area of his game.
In his season of college basketball Cole Anthony was the team’s volume shooter, throwing up an average of 15.7 attempts a game. He drew defensive attention due to the Carolina team having very few shooting options. They often played with two “bigs” apparently. Despite this attention he scored an average of 18.5 points per game, shooting just under 38% from the field.
He is seen as being able to perform as a lead playmaker and could compliment Fultz if given time on the court together.
WHAT ARE COLE ANTHONY’S WEAKNESSES?
He is said to require improvement in his decision making. This leads to some having concerns about his running an offence. His turnovers per game at £.5 is high and that does not fit with Coach Clifford’s play. Again you have to expect that part of those stats falls to being the only perceived threat on the Carolina team.
Yes, his season in college was by all accounts disappointing. This was partially through (it would appear) supporting talent leaving the team . More telling is the 2 months missed through a knee injury, an injury that required surgery. That injury occurred 9 games into the season and saw him miss 11 games. The result of these issues was to make the team and Cole both inconsistent.
When he declared for the draft that inconsistency had him going at 10 in mock drafts at worst.
It is easy to see why Orlando took him. Cole is seen by those who know as being a strong prospect.
There are clearly rough edges that need polishing. Cole Anthony has areas of his game that need improvement but he also brings something Orlando needed. He brings an ability create his own shot and is clearly not afraid to take that responsibility. He won’t be expected to be the only shooter on the team in Orlando unlike during his time in college. Hopefully that means he gets better looks, with more opportunity to make the basket.
With guidance his assist rate will improve as he learns his role in a Magic jersey.
It could be exciting to see the development of Okeke and Cole as they begin to gel alongside Fultz and the rest of the Magic squad.