The 2020 NBA Draft is approaching and despite the coronavirus pandemic, we need to start looking at prospects and where they might land. After the NBA Draft Lottery takes place, teams will know where they’re selecting in the first round. Even though we don’t know where each team will pick, there’s no reason we can’t start speculating where prospects will end up on draft night. In this segment, we’ll be looking at each top prospect and breaking down their best and worst possible destination in the 2020 NBA Draft.
Cole Anthony, PG, UNC
Best possible destination: Detroit Pistons
Anthony has seen his draft stock drop since he enrolled at UNC as the top point guard prospect in the country. The scoring guard got off to a strong start before teams started keying in on him because of his team’s lack of spacing. Anthony is an explosive athlete with a quick first step and the ability to knock down a multitude of tough shots. His vision and shot selection can be questionable at times, but he’s dynamic enough to make more than one NBA backcourts a lot more exciting.
Multiple teams were interested in acquiring a veteran point guard like Derrick Rose, so the Pistons could move him and get some assets before bringing in some fresh legs. Playing alongside shooters like Luke Kennard and Svi Mykhailiuk would create spacing and maximize Anthony’s upside. Getting Blake Griffin back could help the Pistons’ scoring and playmaking improve. Motor City needs a point guard with a nonstop engine. Anthony has that.
Many have shipped Anthony to the New York Knicks, and it actually might be a good fit despite their abundance of point guards. Elfirid Payton isn’t much of a scoring threat while Dennis Smith Jr. and Frank Ntilikina averaged less than seven points per game. Anthony grew up in New York and has the aggression needed to run an offense. But New York needs shooting and playmaking for this to work, as RJ Barrett hasn’t been very efficient as a scorer or passer at the shooting guard spot.
Worst possible destination: Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks need players who can create their own shots, but Anthony isn’t the guy in this situation. Trae Young is an exceptional passer and a liability on the defensive end. Playing Anthony alongside a smaller scoring guard wouldn’t work out well, and using a top 10 pick on a backup point guard isn’t the smartest move for a team that’s finished toward the bottom of the Eastern Conference on recent seasons.
John Collins averaged 21.6 points and 10.7 rebounds per game after returning from a 25-game suspension. Kevin Huerter, Cam Reddish, and De’Andre Hunter averaged double-digits in points before Atlanta traded for Clint Capela. A larger wing would be a better option than Anthony in this situation.