Knicks Rumors: Cole Anthony 'Scouted Extensively' by NYK Ahead of 2020 NBA Draft

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 13, 2020

GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA - MARCH 10: Cole Anthony #2 of the North Carolina Tar Heels reacts following a play against the Virginia Tech Hokies during their game in the first round of the 2020 Men's ACC Basketball Tournament at Greensboro Coliseum on March 10, 2020 in Greensboro, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

North Carolina star guard Cole Anthony has been "scouted extensively" by the New York Knicks as they prepare for the 2020 NBA draft, according to SNY's Ian Begley.

An NCAA source told Begley the Knicks "[have] done their homework on Cole."

Anthony is a New York native, and his father, Greg, was a first-round pick of the Knicks in 1991 before spending four seasons with the team.

The 19-year-old told the New York Post's Zach Braziller in April he'd relish the chance to suit up for the franchise.

"It would be pretty cool," he said. "I was a fan for a good amount of time. I do like the Knicks. I think they definitely can use a guard, a good scoring point guard. If that happens, it would be pretty cool to play in front of my little brother."

Anthony also alluded to how he'd address an obvious need in New York's rotation.

The Dennis Smith Jr. experiment has been a disappointment, and Frank Ntilikina isn't a good enough shooter to be a starting point guard. Signing Elfrid Payton to what amounts to a one-year, $9 million contract made sense after Kyrie Irving joined the Brooklyn Nets, but the Knicks remain without a long-term solution.

Anthony could solve the problem, though he doesn't come without some risk based on his only season with the Tar Heels.

Beyond the partially torn meniscus he suffered in December, he averaged nearly as many turnovers (3.5) as he did assists (4.0), and he shot only 34.8 percent from beyond the arc.

Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman wrote "there are enough questions about [Anthony] to be concerned about giving him the keys to the offense" when he projected the Knicks to select Dayton star Obi Toppin.

The order of the 2020 draft remains unclear given the uncertainty surrounding the regular season. At the moment, the Knicks have the sixth-best odds of landing the No. 1 overall pick (nine percent) and a top-three pick (37.2 percent), per Tankathon.

Despite the concerns about his game, Anthony would be a more than defensible choice for New York in a draft devoid of a true top-end superstar in the vein of Zion Williamson.