Free agent point guard Norris Cole has received a contract offer from Israeli team Maccabi Tel Aviv, according to international basketball reporter David Pick (Twitter link). The deal, which Cole has not yet accepted, would be worth $700K and would bring the veteran guard to the Euroleague.
A former first-round pick, Cole spent the first three and a half years of his career with the Heat, winning a pair of titles with the franchise. He has since spent time with for the Pelicans and Thunder, though he appeared in just 13 games for Oklahoma City last season, playing limited minutes. For his career, the 28-year-old has averaged 7.0 PPG and 2.7 APG in 360 regular season contests.
While Cole has yet to find an NBA home, it makes sense that he’d continue to explore every avenue stateside before heading back overseas — as a six-year veteran, Cole’s minimum salary with an NBA team would be $1,841,849, more than double what his offer from Maccabi Tel Aviv is worth.
Still, Cole had trouble finding an NBA landing spot last season, having not signed with the Thunder until March. And even if he were able to secure an NBA contract, it wouldn’t necessarily be fully guaranteed. Cole also has some international experience, having played in China in 2016, so he may not be averse to returning overseas.
Cole is one of the more notable names among an increasingly sparse group of free agent NBA point guards. Aaron Brooks, Deron Williams, and C.J. Watson are a few of the others who remain unsigned.