Cole Anthony Guard, University of North Carolina
The New York Knicks seem to have been searching for a point guard seemingly forever, as the team has not had an All-Star point guard since Mark Jackson back in 1988-1989, who never quite progressed the way the Knicks hoped he would. The Dennis Smith and Frank Ntilikina experiments have been massive failures, but luckily for New York, this is one of the best point guard draft classes we have ever seen.
Before the start of the season, Cole Anthony was considered a very realistic candidate to become the top pick in the draft. However, a knee injury and poor team play have catapulted Anthony to the mid-lottery.
His meniscus is not expected to give him issues going forward, and one could make the argument that North Carolina’s roster was so subpar that Anthony could not have carried them to the tournament.
Thus, being able to draft Anthony at six could be considered a solid value. Anthony is a phenomenal scorer who has made strides as a passer as well. He can score from all three levels, which is a major asset for any team. His athleticism and exciting style of play fits what New York is looking for, as the Knicks have not had a particularly exciting player since Carmelo Anthony.
Defensively, Anthony is a liability, but his hyper-athleticism gives scouts hope that he can at least hold his own guarding opponents. If he is still the same player he was thought to be at the beginning of the NCAA season, the Knicks will have a very good backcourt pairing in R.J. Barrett and Cole Anthony.