Norris Cole is not the brightest or slickest of talent that the Miami Heat carries (obviously), but he could very well be their youngest and, now, their most coveted. You know, apart from LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Ray Allen, Michael Beasley and Shane Battier.
According to Shams Charania of RealGM, the rookie is drawing a “bevy of interest from around the league”, as the NBA trade deadline approaches.
As a rising talent on a rookie-scale contract, Heat point guard Norris Cole is drawing a bevy of interested teams pursuing Miami management about a potential package to acquire him, league sources told RealGM.
However, rightfully so, the Heat have been handing out stiff rejections for every call that they’ve received. Even though Cole doesn’t put-up jaw-dropping statistics, he’s averaging 7.6 points and 2.3 assisters per game this season; he has been an instrumental part of the Heat’s back-to-back NBA championships. In last year’s playoffs, he shot 48 percent from the field. But it’s not just that.
Apart from Cole’s “efficiency”, he’s been a quality backup for starting point guard Mario Chalmers. He also gives the Heat a bit of freedom to play him off-ball, in key situations because of his ball-hawking defensive instincts.
Are the Heat willing to give all that up, especially when they could use all the quality guards they can get their hands on (with the question mark of Wade’s health)? Probably not.
But that’s not going to stop teams from asking. Many teams in this league believe that Cole could be a starting point guard in the NBA. Truth is, those teams are probably going to have to wait to pitch to him, until after next season when his rookie contract expires.
With that said, he may never see free agency. Not if the Heat believes that he’s the future at point guard, or Chalmers’ immediate successor. Chalmers becomes a free agent after this season.