This coming NBA Draft is probably the weakest NBA Draft I have seen in quite some time. Outside the top 10 of the draft
there is really not much to look forward to or any player who could become much more than a rotation player. With the Corona-virus stalling the world of sports it is impossible to gauge just how good Cole Anthony can be at the NBA level but based off what I have seen from him in highlights he is exactly what the New York Knicks need at the point guard position. I’ve been on the Frank Ntilikina bandwagon for years and took notice of his superb play at the FIBA Basketball World Cup but his game has not translated to the NBA level for some odd reason. The Knicks have tried out Dennis Smith Jr,Elfryd Payton,and Frank Ntilikina at the point guard position but none have the shooting ability Cole Anthony does. Cole Anthony won’t be a Stephen Curry,Damian Lillard, or Trae Young level shooter at the point guard position but the Knicks will not need him to be that being that they have a high usage shooting guard in RJ Barrett who will shoulder a good bulk of the scoring load in the backcourt. The Knicks just need a point guard alongside RJ Barrett who can run the offense and open up the perimeter for RJ Barrett. Not to mention Cole Anthony compliments Mitchell Robinson as a pick and roll or pop option since he can come off screens and knock down jumpers from all over the floor.
I do not see Cole Anthony ever becoming a mega-star at the NBA level but could definitely see him being a big part of the Knicks’s core over the next 4-5 years. Everyone on the Knicks should be expendable with the exception of RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson, I still have hope Kevin Knox could get it all together depending on who the Knicks bring in to coach the team next season but he could be a young piece the Knicks could package with Julius Randle in a deal at the trade deadline next season or going into next summer. I am enamored with Mitchell Robinson’s potential and do believe he will be a top 5 center over this next decade and judging off RJ Barrett’s comments about Julius Randle’s ball dominant ways disrupting the offense that shows me he is a team player and wants the ball to swing around more instead of Julius Randle barreling into 2-3 defenders off a spin move which gets him nowhere. I have been dissapointed with RJ Barrett’s inconsistent play this season but he has had games where he has scored 25+ points with efficiency which lead me to think eventually he will put it all together and become one of the top 5 shooting guards in the game over this next decade as well.
The main objective for the Knicks should be to draft Cole Anthony and draft a coach like Mark Jackson who can give the team an identity on both ends of the floor. Mark Jackson saw the potential in Steph Curry and Klay Thompson as 3 point shooters and brought along Draymmond Green even if it meant him coming off the bench in the early stages of his career. In my honest opinion the Knicks can make the playoffs next season with a core of Cole Anthony,RJ Barrett,and Mitchell Robinson because their games compliment each other none of the 3 has a me-first mentality towards the game of basketball which reminds me of Larry Bird,Robert Parish, and Kevin McHale who left their egos at the door and ended up becoming a dynasty in the 1980’s. I love Cole Anthony’s game, I highly doubt he’ll be a guard trying to get up over 20 shots a night and will instead do whatever it takes to help the team win. I say whether he starts or comes off the bench next season that he’ll average in the neighborhood of 13 to 17 per game with 5-6 assists per game and shoot 40 to 45 percent from the field which is beyond solid for a rookie point guard in the NBA.
Cole Anthony won’t be a ball dominant guard and will allow for RJ Barrett to control the action as RJ is a pretty good play-maker at the shooting guard position and can average over 5+ assists per game if called upon. Cole Anthony can move off the ball a lot like Stephen Curry and come off screens and shoot it from the mid-range and 3 point line a lot like Stephen Curry does. The same way Stephen Curry allows multiple players on the court to carry play-making duties in half-court sets and keep 1 to 2 defenders chasing him around off screens Cole Anthony could have the same effect for the New York Knicks but again the Knicks’s offense will be ran similar to the Warriors depending on who the Knicks hire to be the new head-coach and how he decides to run the offense. Me personally I would hire Mark Jackson like I said earlier in this article as he would assure the Knicks will play both ends of the floor and make sure Cole Anthony,RJ Barrett,and Mitchell Robinson remained locked in on the defensive end.
To conclude with unselfishness and defense you can get very far at the NBA level and I am sure Cole Anthony will come in with a chip on his shoulder ready to do whatever it takes to win and turn the Knicks around. Cole Anthony has been brought up the right way there is nothing in the media giving us any indication he will be a problem off the floor and that is the type of player the Knicks need to draft. Not that the other lottery picks in the 2020 NBA Draft are problem childs but the point guard position is where the Knicks are weakest at and Cole Anthony provides the Knicks with everything they need at the position. He has winning intangibles,he is an efficient guard with exceptional work ethic, he can shoot it from all over the floor, and is the son of former NBA player Greg Anthony who once played for the New York Knicks in the early 1990’s when the Knicks were one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. I always say your kids are an example of who you are and Greg Anthony has been supportive of Cole Anthony his whole life. I think Greg knows like I know that Cole is the draft pick that we could be looking back on 20 years from now saying the Knicks finally got it right, till next time.