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North Carolina star Cole Anthony declares for NBA draft

North Carolina guard Cole Anthony

SOUTH BEND, IN - FEBRUARY 17: Cole Anthony #2 of the North Carolina Tar Heels brings the ball up court during the game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Purcell Pavilion on February 17, 2020 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

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Cole Anthony said a few weeks ago he wasn’t yet declaring for the NBA draft.

But that always seemed to be about controlling the message, not an indication he’d actually return to North Carolina. Likely lottery picks like him nearly always turn pro.

Anthony:

Son of Greg Anthony – who played 11 NBA seasons, mostly with the Knicks, Grizzlies and Trail Blazers – Cole Anthony entered college carrying high expectations. Those have been tempered – though partially by circumstance.

Cole Anthony is a talented scoring guard who can create his own shot at multiple levels. He wasn’t efficient at North Carolina, but the Tar Heels’ spacing was quite poor. Anthony could look far better with NBA spacing.

At 6-foot-3, Anthony is point guard-sized. So, he must improve his distributing. Again, better teammates could help.

This season took some of the shine off Anthony. But the tantalizing skills and athleticism are still there. Even if he’s not as safe a bet as once hoped, he’ll still get drafted high. His ceiling isn’t lower.