It’s only a matter of time now until it becomes a reality for the son of former NBA guard Greg Anthony. Friday afternoon, the Upper West Side native decided he would not return to North Carolina for his sophomore year, telling The Post he was going pro and signing with Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports Management.
“It’s really one of the best feelings you can have, knowing all your hard work is coming together to live your dream,” Anthony said in an exclusive phone interview. “It’s still a ways away, not knowing when the draft is going to be, but an opportunity to pretty much call myself a pro soon is surreal. It’s really one of the best feelings ever.”
Scouts and analysts are split on Cole Anthony, North Carolina’s stud freshman point guard, who has yet to announce his intentions to return to school or go pro. Some forecast that Anthony will fall into the low teens in the NBA draft, if he does forego his final three years of college eligibility. Others believe the son of former NBA point guard Greg Anthony, who will turn 20 on May 15, will be a top-five pick or possibly will fall to his hometown Knicks at No. 6. Projections are across the board for the Upper West Side native who has been in the public eye since starting as a freshman at Catholic school Archbishop Molloy in Queens. “I’ve gotten the complete spectrum,” former NBA point guard and ACC Network analyst Cory Alexander, who coached Anthony for one year as an assistant at powerhouse Oak Hill Academy, said in a phone interview. “Some people love him, and some people would not want him on their team for whatever reason.”
Two NBA scouts offered differing opinions. One scout said he sees Anthony as more of a scorer than a point guard and someone who needs the ball in his hands. ESPN draft analyst Fran Fraschilla had a similar viewpoint, raving about Anthony’s athleticism and star potential, but worrying about his inefficiency for a player drafted in the top five or six. “I just don’t think he wins you games,” the scout said.
After finishing his first season as a Tar Heel, Cole Anthony is understandably being asked about his future. In a personal statement, Anthony took to Instagram to give fans an answer. "A lot of people have been asking me if I am going to declare for the NBA Draft. Anyone who knows me understands that playing in the NBA has been a lifelong dream of mine, but given the pain that America and the world are experiencing at this time, I am going to refrain from making any announcements around that topic.”
Cole Anthony: “Lliving in New York City, the Coronavirus hits hard. My family and I know many people directly affected by the Coronavirus-many hospitalized. A few in critical condition and one who has died. New York City is experiencing the highest number of Coronavirus cases in the United States. So my biggest concern right now is trying to figure out how I can help during this crisis. We are all in this together! Stay safe."
September 23, 2021 | 4:49 am EDT Update
The Sixers would be best served if Simmons and Paul rethink their plans, though Simmons “is clearly aware of sanctions available to the organization to fine and suspend him, including withholding of salary,” according to Wojnarowski. An NBA source said Wednesday that Simmons initially asked for a trade at the draft combine in Chicago “right after” the end of the 2020-21 season. The Game 7 home loss to the Hawks occurred on June 20, with the combine running from June 21-27.
Simmons has apparently already received $8.25 million of his 2021-22 salary, with another $8.25 million due if he’s on the roster Oct. 1. The Sixers aren’t saying what they plan to do or if they must make that payment when, barring a dramatic shift, Simmons follows through with his holdout, according to the source.
Rather than increasing Simmons’ value in a trade, the Sixers’ preference is for Simmons to report and play this season in Philadelphia, according to an NBA source. Rivers said the same thing Wednesday: “We would love to have Ben back.”
Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson: 76ers retiring Kobe Bryant’s Lower Merion No. 33 like Heat retired MJ’s No. 23 ‘interesting idea’ @ScottONeil tells @BallySports: “That’s something that @dmorey & @DocRivers & Elton will weigh on for sure. That’s something that Chris Heck the President of 76ers will weigh on.”
September 23, 2021 | 2:02 am EDT Update
The Warriors recently connected Wiggins with an Oakland doctor who understands issues surrounding vaccine hesitancy, sources said. The doctor explained the suffering and deaths she has witnessed in patients who contracted the coronavirus, sources said, but Wiggins remains unmoved in his decision against vaccination.
San Francisco requires full vaccination to be allowed indoors for entertainment, including large events like NBA games at 18,000-seat Chase Center. New York City is the only other NBA market currently facing such restrictions. League sources believe the NBA will grant Wiggins a religious exemption, but San Francisco has the power to override it inside the city.