Norris Cole is on the trade block as the Heat prefer to forge ahead with 2014 first-round pick Shabazz Napier, according to Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio, who writes amid his leaguewide roundup. Cole “pretty much knows” the Heat are ready to move him, Amico says. The former 28th overall pick out of Cleveland State didn’t sign a rookie scale extension with Miami before the October 31st deadline to do so, so he’s poised for restricted free agency this summer.
Miami made Cole part of a trade proposal to the Nets for Brook Lopez that also included Chris Andersen and Josh McRoberts, as Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported last week. Cole began the season as a starter for the Heat, but Mario Chalmers, whom the Heat re-signed this past summer for two years and $8.3MM, took back the starting job in December. Cole has seen more than 20 minutes just twice since New Year’s Day, and with Dwyane Wade out the past two games, coach Erik Spoelstra has elected to go with Napier instead of Cole alongside Chalmers in a dual point guard starting lineup. The Heat apparently rebuffed teams asking about Cole at the deadline last year, but they reportedly made him “very available” around draft time this past summer.
Cole changed agents later in the summer, joining Rich Paul and Klutch Sports, the same Cleveland-based representation that boasts LeBron James as its centerpiece client. The Cavs are on the lookout for a backup point guard and have interest in Jordan Farmar, as Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group reported Friday, and Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports hears that Cleveland is particularly interested in veteran point guards. Cole is 26 and in his fourth NBA season, but it’s unclear if the Cavs have interest in him.