Magic Report Cards: Cole Anthony Struggles in Year 4

Orlando Magic point guard Cole Anthony had his fair share of ups and downs this season.
Apr 30, 2024; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Orlando Magic guard Cole Anthony (50) drives to the basket
Apr 30, 2024; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Orlando Magic guard Cole Anthony (50) drives to the basket / Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
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ORLANDO — For the first time in his four-year career, Orlando Magic point guard Cole Anthony came off the bench in every game he played in.

It was a new feeling for the 2020 first-round pick out of North Carolina, who came into the league to a Magic team on the verge of rebuilding. But now, as a playoff team, Anthony found himself in a newer role for him, and he admittedly struggled to adjust.

This past offseason, Anthony signed a three-year, $39 million extension that goes into effect in 2024-25, so he was able to play this season without the fear of getting dropped in free agency. That may have affected his urgency, but he was able to play comfortably in the financial department, so there is some merit in that.

When the team drafted Anthony Black with the No. 6 overall pick, it put Cole Anthony's role into question. However, he remained a strong scorer off the bench, averaging 11.6 points per game. While that ended up being a career-low for him, he did so with fewer minutes, moving from nearly 26 to 22.4.

That being said, Anthony improved as a defender and appeared to grow more comfortable with his role as the season progressed. While part of him wishes he was a starter, he also prides himself on being a good teammate and helping out wherever he can.

That instilled a lot of confidence in Anthony and pushed him towards putting together some positive minutes in the playoffs. In Game 6, Anthony scored nine points and played a key role in the Magic's win to push their first-round series to a seventh game.

While Anthony may not have had the season he wishes he had and his numbers weren't the best, he still found ways to be effective and win for the Magic. Going into next year, he'll be better off for it, which is why this season shouldn't be considered a failure for him.

Grade: C+

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Jeremy Brener


Jeremy Brener is an editor, writer and social media manager for several Fan Nation websites. His work has also been featured in 247 Sports and SB Nation as a writer and podcaster. Brener has been with Fan Nation since 2021. Brener grew up in Houston, going to Astros, Rockets and Texans games as a kid. He moved to Orlando in 2016 to go to college and pursue a degree. He hosts "The Dream Take" podcast covering the Rockets, which has produced over 350 episodes since March 2020. Brener graduated in May 2020 from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism minoring in Sport Business Management. While at UCF, Brener worked for the school's newspaper and "Hitting the Field," a student-run sports talk show and network. He was the executive producer for "Hitting the Field" from 2019-20. During his professional career, Brener has covered a number of major sporting events including the Pro Bowl, March Madness and several NBA and NFL games. As a fan, Brener has been to the 2005 World Series, 2010 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 NCAA National Championship between the Villanova Wildcats and North Carolina Tar Heels. Now, Brener still resides in the Central Florida area and enjoys writing, watching TV, hanging out with friends and going to the gym. Brener can be followed on Twitter @JeremyBrener. For more inquiries, please email