The rumor mill is already turning in the NBA as speculation surrounds the Miami Heat and point guard Norris Cole. The defending champs exercised the 2014-15 option on Cole’s contract, but it did not take long for trade rumors to pop up across the media world.
The trade speculation did not strain Cole’s focus or change his attitude. “I’m just controlling what I can control,” said Cole.
Rumors are rumors, and teams sometimes like to weigh their options and appraise players. Miami has locked in Cole for next season so it is hard to imagine a trade involving the backup guard. The rumors were also nonspecific and no possible trade partners were mentioned.
Putting Cole on the trading block does not add up. He is entering his third season in the league and has shown steady development in South Beach. Although his playing time has been inconsistent, Cole has found his role with Miami and their consecutive titles.
The reserve guard has averaged six points and two assists in 20 minutes over his first two seasons. His shooting and decision making improved last season, but he is not exactly a floor general. That works well in Miami, though, since LeBron James and Dwyane Wade do a majority of the ball handling.
Not only has Cole proven to be an adequate backup to starting point guard Mario Chalmers, but he is also an inexpensive option for an organization with little financial flexibility. The “Big 3″ have put a stranglehold on Miami’s salary cap, leaving Pat Riley to sign worn veterans and misfits. Cole has been a nice surprise for the Heat since acquiring him in a draft-night trade.
Don’t believe all the rumors you hear. I can’t see Cole leaving Miami or Riley shipping him off somewhere. Unless a substantial and impressive deal presents itself to Heat management, Cole should remain in South Beach for a bit longer.