NBA Draft: Profiling the 5 best point guard prospects from the 2020 class

NBA Draft Prospect Lamelo Ball (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)
NBA Draft Prospect Lamelo Ball (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images) /
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NBA Draft
NBA Draft prospect Cole Anthony (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

Honorable Mention: Cole Anthony – North Carolina

I have some serious doubts about Cole Anthony, and that’s the biggest reason why he lands just outside my top 5.

He’s really more of a 5B, but most draft boards have him as a top 10 pick and several have him as the second-best point guard available – I don’t see it that way.

There are certainly areas where he excels, though. I love his scoring mentality and competitiveness on both ends. Anthony will never hesitate to take a big shot and has no issues mixing it up in the paint with bigger defenders. On defense, he’s also unafraid to stick his nose in there and really puts in the effort. He’s a good athlete and has quick enough feet to both get by a defender on offense and stay in front of his man on defense.

But he does have his flaws. His “get out of my way” scoring mentality can lead to a stagnant offense where the ball doesn’t move. That type of offense is fine if you are efficient but Anthony was far from it. Anthony shoots 38 percent from the field and 34.8 percent from 3. To be fair, he’s not the only inefficient scorer in his class nor is he even the only inefficient scorer on this list. But everyone else on this list has an ability to contribute to winning when their shot isn’t falling – Anthony doesn’t.

As a passer his feel is basic and his reads make you scratch your head sometimes, leaving you wondering if he can lead an offense at the next level. His offensive skills really lend themselves to more of a 2-guard than an NBA point guard, but his lack of elite size and defensive versatility make that a tough transition unless he lands in a situation that’s built for him to succeed.

My overall issue with taking Anthony in the lottery is that inefficient scoring point guards who aren’t high-level passers are tough to keep on the floor. I think his defense will be good enough but not at a level high enough to make up for some growing pains on the other end.

I don’t like making player comparisons but I view him in the same mold as Carsen Edwards – when he’s on it’s going to look great, but against NBA competition I expect most nights to be filled with inconsistent shooting and a struggle to find another way to impact the game on a regular basis.