Knicks Rumors: NY 'Leaning Against' Taking Cole Anthony in 2020 NBA Draft

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistOctober 8, 2020

North Carolina guard Cole Anthony (2) dribbles against Syracuse during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Greensboro, N.C., Wednesday, March 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Ben McKeown)
Ben McKeown/Associated Press

The New York Knicks haven't locked onto a prospect in the 2020 NBA draft, but it looks like they have decided against selecting Cole Anthony with the No. 8 overall pick.

Marc Berman of the New York Post reported the Knicks are "leaning against" a homecoming for the North Carolina product with the first of their two first-round picks. The Knicks also have the No. 27 selection.

In what's going to be a historically unpredictable draft, Anthony could wind up anywhere from the top 10 all the way to the late 20s. Billed as a potential top-five selection, Anthony averaged 18.5 points, 5.7 rebounds and 4.0 assists in his lone season at North Carolina—solid numbers that underplay his struggles.

Anthony displayed poor defensive instincts and shot just 38.0 percent from the field. His volume was off the charts for a freshman, but his production given how much he had the ball in his hands is a cause for concern.

The Knicks have needs all across their roster, so it would be hard to see them passing if he dropped all the way to No. 27. Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman had Anthony all the way down at No. 22 in his latest mock, meaning it's not totally out of the realm of possibility he moves back further.

That said, it would be equally hard to justify taking him at No. 8 when more complete players with better upside should be available. The unpredictable nature of this draft makes it hard to know exactly who will be on the board, but Anthony would be a reach where the Knicks currently sit and didn't flash enough to show himself as worth the risk.