Duke basketball standout may have cost former UNC player millions

Duke basketball point guard Tre Jones and North Carolina guard Cole Anthony (Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball point guard Tre Jones and North Carolina guard Cole Anthony (Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) /

Former Duke basketball point guard Tre Jones may have cost North Carolina guard Cole Anthony millions of dollars.

Second-round picks turn into first-round picks, and first-round picks turn into lottery picks.

That is what happens in the NCAA Tournament to a select number of prospects, but thanks to the coronavirus, there was no postseason this year, and those prospects did not have the chance to rise up draft boards.

More from Ball Durham

However, the regular season still weighs heavily into the decision of NBA scouts and general managers. And former Blue Devil Tre Jones might have cost his rival, North Carolina’s Cole Anthony, millions of dollars at the next level, considering Anthony’s team completed its season prior to the shutdown.

Our colleagues at Daily Knicks, the FanSided page that covers the New York Knicks, are well into their 2020 NBA Draft coverage, and they broke down a situation where the Knicks could select Anthony in the first round.

But one well-respected NBA Draft scout had a rebuttal, as Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman said that he had one scout tell him Cole Anthony is No. 35 on his team’s big board.

Wondering why a consensus Top-10 pick in September has fallen so far in the eyes of many NBA scouts?

Perhaps it was the fact that Anthony was dominated the two times he saw an NBA-caliber defensive guard this season in Duke’s Tre Jones.

ALSO READ: Recent spat proves no program can compete with Duke

In the first meeting between the prospects, Jones held Anthony to 7-of-17 shooting from the field, 1-of-4 from 3-point range, and four turnovers, but the Tar Heel was able to score 24 points despite seeing the future ACC Player of the Year perform magic tricks down the stretch to help give the Blue Devils an improbable win.

As for the second matchup in Durham, Anthony was a laughable 4-of-14 from the floor, missing both of his 3-point attempts, and he only had nine points in 39 minutes as Duke swept the series between the two programs.

How much might have the Duke basketball guard cost Cole Anthony?

Using the 2019 NBA Draft contract values, Duke’s Zion Williamson made $9.7 million as the No. 1 overall pick in the first year of his rookie contract, and that value drops to $3.2 million for the No. 15 overall pick, which was Sekou Doumbouya of France.

The value of rookie contracts plummets to $1.2 million for the No. 30 overall pick in the first round, which was Kevin Porter Jr. of USC one year ago.

Second-round picks can sign with the team that drafts them for a negotiable amount, but the minimum is $560,000.

ALSO READ: Early projections show Duke with brutal stretch in March

Granted, it’s more likely than not that Cole Anthony will be a Top-20 pick, but his slipping draft stock is costing him millions of dollars, something that can be attributed to his play against Tre Jones this season.

If Anthony had opted to go overseas for his one year before the NBA Draft, it’s likely that he would have continued his trajectory as a Top-10 pick and ensured his bank account would be a little fatter.

Both Cole Anthony and Tre Jones will continue their respective workouts for the 2020 NBA Draft as the November 18 draft date continues to inch closer.