Miami Heat backup point guard Norris Cole will be staying a while longer after the team announced that they have picked up his option for the 2014-15 season. Cole’s option was worth $2 million. The team added an inexpensive player in case The Big Three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh decide to explore free agency after this season concludes.
Cole, who was the Heat’s first round draft pick in 2011 after playing four years at Cleveland State. He has stepped in and shown how capable he is of contributing to a championship team. Cole has averaged 6.1 points and two assists in his first two seasons.
Cole’s shooting has improved along with his defense, which is preached by the Heat coaching staff in practices. In last year’s playoff series against the Chicago Bulls, Cole made his first eight attempts from three-point range in the Eastern Conference Semifinal series. That was an area the reserve guard really improved in jumping from 28 percent from long distance during his rookie year to just update 36 percent in his sophomore campaign. Cole looked more comfortable within the system and at times outplayed starting point guard Mario Chalmers during the postseason.
The signing of Cole means that he will be around even if the Big Three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh decide to opt out of their deals after this season. Even though, it is highly unlikely that the Big Three will decide to move away from South Beach, the team made Cole it’s only player guaranteed to play in Miami after this season.
Cole is a player that will continue to make strides as an NBA point guard but this season may be more difficult if he doesn't learn how to get his teammates more involved. He has to play behind Chalmers and is after Ray Allen in the rotation coming off the bench. With Wade completely healthy heading into this season and the addition of veteran shooter Roger Mason, Jr., to the fold, his role may be even more limited with their ability to score and handle the ball. Cole will need to show his coaches in the preseason that he wants to carve out a heavier workload in 2013-14.
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