Surprisingly still without a team this close to the beginning of NBA training camps, Norris Cole does has some options. After player for the New Orleans Pelicans this last season and a half, he might end up joining the Cleveland Cavaliers or Minnesota Timberwolves.
According to Sam Amico, the Cavaliers are showing interest in Cole, who grew up in Dayton, Ohio, and played his college basketball at Cleveland State before entering the NBA. He was LeBron James’ teammate on the Miami Heat, playing an important role in winning two NBA championships, and staying with the Heat until midway through the 2014-2015 NBA season, before joining the Pelicans.
Meanwhile, ESPN are saying that Cole’s new agent is trying to see how interested are the Timberwolves, assuming he can get more minutes on a team that isn’t the Cavaliers, or a contender. At this point in his career Cole, who has made a total of $8 million in his five NBA seasons, is looking for minutes and money. Playing on a good or bad team is less important for him, especially with two NBA championships he helped win already on his CV.
Cole missed almost half of last season with injuries, and ended up having his best individual season, thanks to more minutes than ever before. He averaged 26.6 minutes a night through 45 games, scoring 10.6 points to go with 3.7 assists, with the Pelicans drowning in injuries to key players, enabling Cole to get a bigger share of responsibility compared to his time in Miami and the previous season with the Pelicans.
Cole is a decent outside shooter when left open (32.1% from three overall) and can give teams about 18-22 minutes of good basketball, averaging 7.1 points per game throughout his career. He’s a solid on ball defender and quite experienced in playoff basketball for someone his age and with his time in the league. No team is going to give him a starting role or anything close, but for teams with some backcourt issues who need to fill up about 20 minutes a night in their rotations, Cole could be a good fit.