It doesn’t look like there will be a Cole Anthony homecoming – unless the Nets take him at 19.
The Knicks are leaning against taking the Manhattan point guard with the No. 8 pick, or even if they trade down into the 14-15-range, according to an industry source.
Anthony, whose father is ex-Knick Greg Anthony, has slid in the mock drafts for a couple of months after a rough freshman season at the University of North Carolina.
An SNY report in the spring stated the Knicks had researched Anthony “extensively.” However, that research hasn’t netted a desire to take Anthony with their lottery pick.
If Anthony falls to No. 27, the Knicks would be interested, however. Anthony struggled with his shot at UNC, shooting 38 percent, though he averaged 18.5 points for Roy Williams’ Tar Heels.
In August, TNT analyst Greg Anthony acknowledged on a conference call his son had “a horrible year” at North Carolina that included missing time after knee surgery. Williams has blamed it on a modest supporting cast as UNC finished 14-19.
While some scouts feel having a former NBA point guard as a father is a boon, one NBA executive said the uber athletic 20-year-old isn’t a true point guard.
“I’m not a big fan,” the executive said. “I could see him late first round, even early second round. There’s a limited creativity to his game and he has a slippery handle. He’s a very average playmaker and relies too much on shooting long 3’s. He’s more a 2 in our league but with limited size.”
Some mock drafts have Anthony as the last lottery pick taken at No. 14, but others have Anthony falling later into the first round. The Nets select 19th and Anthony could still be there.
Regarding the Anthony criticism, his trainer, Chris Brickley, a former Knicks developmental coordinator, told The Post recently, “Sometimes you hear the selfish, shot-first guy, I shake my head again considering what he did at Oak Hill. As far making other players better, I’ll bet the money in my bank account that — just as he ended the regular season as top freshman scoring guard, he’d have liked to end the season as No. 1 assist guy. He really is a willing passer.”
At the start of the college season, the Knicks went into their draft research with scoring point guard as a priority for their expected lottery pick. But after LaMelo Ball, Leon Rose’s group felt there was a drop-off. Killian Hayes, Iowa State’s Tyrese Haliburton, Alabama’s Kira Lewis and Kentucky’s Tyrese Maxey remain on their point-guard radar.
The draft is not until Nov. 18. The lack of an NCAA Tournament and regular live draft combine/in-person interviews may even help a club like the Knicks, according to sources. The draft research could be less efficient, leaving perhaps one of the best players to fall to No. 8 or later.
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