Cole Anthony Drafted 15th Overall by the Orlando Magic

Cole Anthony becomes UNC's 53rd NBA First Round draft pick
Publish date:

Cole Anthony's dreams have become a reality. Following in his father Greg's footsteps, the younger Anthony is headed to the NBA where he will suit up for the Orlando Magic. The Magic selected Anthony with the 15th overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.

Anthony becomes the 53rd NBA First Round draft pick for the Tar Heels. 

During his one year in Chapel Hill, Anthony scored 407 points (18.5 per game), pulled in 125 rebounds (5.7 per game), dished out 87 assists (4.0 per game), shot 38.0 percent (131-345) from the field, 34.8 percent (49-141) from three, and 75.0 percent (96-128) from the free throw line.

Anthony came into the 2019-20 season with high expectations and was projected by many as a top-3 NBA Draft pick. Unfortunately, an injury-riddled season (11 missed games) and a lack of the usual offensive firepower in the UNC lineup limited Anthony's effectiveness and ability to fully integrate into the flow of playing point guard for Roy Williams.

Similar to Zion Williamson a season earlier, Anthony's decision to come back and play for the Tar Heels following his injury likely spoke volumes to NBA executives about his character, his competitiveness, and complete obsession with following through on his commitments. 

As Anthony moves to the NBA with better spacing and offensive assets around him, expect to see his skill set fully flourish.

Perhaps one of the most important developments of Anthony's selection by the Magic is the opportunity to go to a team that already has a starting point guard (Markelle Fultz) whom Anthony can learn behind instead of being handed the keys from day one. While Fultz himself is young, Anthony will also benefit from more veteran guards like D.J. Augustin, Evan Fournier, and Michael Carter-Williams. This will perhaps be the first time in his life that he will be coming off the bench, and that's probably the best thing for his development.

In college, Greg Anthony played at Portand in the 1986-87 season before transferring to UNLV, where he played 1988-91 and won the NCAA Championship in 1990 as the starting point guard. The Runnin' Rebels have since retired Anthony's number 50. 

The elder Anthony will have bragging rights over his son, as he was drafted 12th overall by the New York Knicks in the 1991 NBA Draft. 

His NBA playing career included stops with the Knicks (1991-95), Vancouver Grizzlies (1995-97), Seattle Supersonics (1997-98), Portland Trail Blazers (1998-01), Chicago Bulls (2001-02), and the Milwaukee Bucks (2002). Greg Anthony's career statistics include 5,497 points, 2,997 assists, and 887 steals.

Make sure to stick with AllTarHeels as we follow Cole Anthony's preparations for his first NBA season.

You can follow us for future coverage by clicking “Follow” on the top right hand corner of the page.

Send Isaac Schade an email to talk more about this article.

Follow us on Twitter: @SI_Heels | @isaacschade

Please post any comments below!