Norris Cole

And-Ones: BIG3, Canada, Hezonja, Coaches

Ty Lawson, Corey Brewer, Jordan Crawford, Jonathon Simmons, Norris Cole, Festus Ezeli, and Jordan Hill are among the many former NBA players whose names are in the BIG3 draft pool for the 2022 season, per the league’s official website.

The BIG3 will hold its draft on Wednesday evening in Los Angeles as it gears up for the coming season. As we previously relayed, the first games of 2022 are scheduled for June 18 and this will be the first year in which the BIG3 holds an All-Star Game.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

And-Ones: Scoring Race, Lottery Teams, EuroLeague, Cole

The NBA’s 2021/22 scoring race could end up being one for the ages, writes Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. As Reynolds outlines, the league is currently on pace for its closest three-way scoring race of all-time.

Currently, Lakers forward LeBron James leads the pack with 30.0 points per game, followed by Sixers center Joel Embiid at 29.8 PPG and Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo at 29.7 PPG.

Five more players are averaging at least 27.0 PPG, but are unlikely to crash the top three even with strong finishes. Nets forward Kevin Durant (29.6 PPG) would have made it a fascinating four-way race if were able to meet the required minimum of 58 games played, but he’ll fall just short of that threshold.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Dan Devine of The Ringer takes a look at the 10 teams who appear likely to miss the playoffs and the play-in and identifies one silver lining for each club. Devine’s list includes Anfernee Simons‘ breakout for the Trail Blazers, Markelle Fultz‘s return for the Magic, and Kyle Kuzma‘s development for the Wizards.
  • After initially suspending the Russian teams in the EuroLeague and EuroCup, the Euroleague has opted to expel those clubs for the rest of 2021/22, writes Aris Barkas of Eurohoops.net. The decision, made in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, will affect CSKA Moscow, Zenit St. Petersburg, and UNICS Kazan in the EuroLeague and Lokomotiv Kuban in the EuroCup.
  • In other international basketball news, former NBA point guard Norris Cole has signed with JL Bourg in France, while journeyman wing Sean Kilpatrick has joined Spanish team Zaragoza, according to press releases from the respective clubs. Cole has played in 360 regular season NBA games, while Kilpatrick has appeared in 157, but both have been out of the league for a few years.

And-Ones: Dead Money, Baldwin, Cole, Stone

As free agency and the draft near for the NBA’s 30 teams, several clubs still owe money to players that are no longer on their present-day rosters, writes Ethan Fuller of BasketballNews.com.

As Fuller notes, when the league calendar changes this August, about half of the league’s clubs will still owe money to former players. The Pistons are on the hook for the biggest single dead-money charge, as they still have to pay Blake Griffin a total of $29.8MM next season. Other examples include the Hornets (Nicolas Batum), Knicks (Joakim Noah) and Lakers (Luol Deng).

Here are some other odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Free agent guard Wade Baldwin IV has signed a one-year contract with Baskonia in Spain, the team announced on its website. Baldwin holds 56 games of NBA experience, making stops with Memphis and Portland from 2016-19. He was the No. 17 pick in 2016 and spent the 2020/21 season in Germany with Bayern Munich.
  • ASVEL has parted ways with guard Norris Cole and big man Ismael Bako, the club announced (Twitter link). Cole, who won championships with Miami 2012 and 2013, averaged 13.7 points and 3.6 assists with the French club this season. He is now a free agent.
  • Veteran swingman Julyan Stone has re-signed with Reyer Venezia in Italy, as relayed by EuroHoops. Stone has played 70 NBA games with Denver (2011-13), Toronto (2013-14) and Charlotte (2017-18), spending much of his professional career overseas. “I have achieved great things with Reyer, but the journey is not over yet,” Stone said. “I still can help achieve some things and I will put in my hard work to give us the best chance at success. My role in the team may change, but my motivation will continue to grow.”

International Notes: Cole, Dekker, Italian NBA Players

After signing Guerschon Yabusele earlier this week, French team ASVEL Basket is bringing aboard another former NBA player, announcing today in a press release that they’ve signed veteran guard Norris Cole to a two-year deal.

A two-time NBA champion with Miami, Cole appeared in 360 career regular season NBA games from 2011-17 for the Heat, Pelicans, and Thunder. He has played in international leagues since then, spending time in Israel, Italy, and Montenegro before joining ASVEL this week.

Here are more international updates from around the basketball world:

  • Former NBA first-round pick Sam Dekker, who spent the 2019/20 season playing for Lokomotiv Kuban, has parted ways with the Russian club and is now a free agent, the team announced (Twitter link). Formerly of the Rockets, Clippers, Cavaliers, and Wizards, Dekker was Lokomotiv Kuban’s averaged 13.1 PPG and 5.3 RPG in 10 EuroCup games, with 11.4 PPG and 4.9 RPG in 19 VTB United League contests.
  • In an interesting story for ESPN.com, Baxter Holmes takes an in-depth look at how the NBA’s international players have handled the last three months, with many of them far removed from their home countries where friends and family members may have been affected by COVID-19. As Holmes details, Pelicans forward Nicolo Melli says he’s become closer with Spurs guard Marco Belinelli, and Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari – the NBA’s other two active Italian players – by staying in frequent contact during the pandemic.
  • In case you missed it, former NBAers Jeremy Pargo and Malcolm Delaney are joining teams in Israel and Italy, respectively.

International Notes: Cole, Kuzminskas, Perrantes, Wiseman

Longtime NBA guard Norris Cole is continuing his career overseas, with AS Monaco announcing in a press release that it has signed the two-time NBA champion.

“I’m excited to be here in Monaco,” Cole said in a statement. “We discussed it with my family, my agent, we thought it was the best choice. I’m looking forward to seeing the new teammates, talking to the staff, and helping my team the best I can do.”

Cole, 31, played for the Heat from 2011-15 before spending time with the Pelicans and Thunder. He appeared in 360 regular season NBA games and another 68 playoff contests, but has played in international leagues since 2017, suiting up for teams in Israel, Italy, and Montenegro. His new club competes in France’s top league.

Let’s round up a few more international basketball notes…

  • After parting ways with Greek club Olympiacos, former NBA forward Mindaugas Kuzminskas has joined Russia’s Lokomotiv Kuban on a two-year deal, according to an announcement from the team. The 30-year-old Lithuanian appeared in 69 games for the Knicks from 2016-17 before heading back to Europe.
  • Turkish team Bahcesehir has signed 25-year-old point guard London Perrantes, the club announced today (via Twitter; hat tip to Sportando). Perrantes, who appeared in 14 NBA games with the Cavaliers during the 2017/18 season, was in camp with the Trail Blazers this fall before being waived last month.
  • Australia’s National Basketball League, which is already home to top 2020 draft prospects like LaMelo Ball and R.J. Hampton, would have interest in bringing over James Wiseman if he’s officially deemed ineligible to play for Memphis, writes Adam Zagoria of Forbes. However, Wiseman’s situation, which we previously discussed, may not be quickly or easily resolved, a source tells Zagoria. “He’s exceptionally talented and of course we’d be interested, but honestly we haven’t even had a conversation with him or his family,” NBL Commissioner Jeremy Loeliger said of the potential No. 1 pick. “I have no idea yet as to whether or not it would suit his plans, his personality or his aspirations.”

And-Ones: Rockets, Olympics, Cole, B. Rush, Goodwin

An NBA rule that threw a wrench into the Rockets‘ plan on a holiday weekend last season has been altered, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle.

Previously, the league required teams interested in completing a trade on a weekend or holiday to inform the NBA of its plans on the preceding business day. That practice will still be encouraged, but it will no longer be required, according to Feigen, who says the league will now look to approve and process trades on weekends or holidays even without prior notice.

On Martin Luther King Day last January, the Rockets needed to open up a roster spot to sign Kenneth Faried and had agreed to a trade sending Carmelo Anthony to Chicago. However, the NBA didn’t approve the trade on the holiday, and Houston instead waived James Nunnally to create room for Faried. If a similar situation arises in 2019/20, it shouldn’t be a problem.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • The Rio Grande Valley Vipers have named a new general manager and head coach for the coming season, the club announced in a press release. Travis Stockbridge, who is just 25 years old, will be the GM of the Rockets‘ G League affiliate, while Mahmoud Abdelfattah will coach the team.
  • Despite the program’s disappointing World Cup turnout, there has been no shortage of NBA stars this fall expressing interest in playing for Team USA at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. “The reality is the World Cup, although it’s very big around the world, it doesn’t have the same status in the States,” USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo told Joe Vardon of The Athletic. “Our focus is apparently on the Olympics, and I expected a different response.”
  • Veteran NBA free agents Norris Cole and Brandon Rush are joining Maccabi Haifa for the Israeli team’s upcoming exhibition contests against the Grizzlies, Trail Blazers, and Timberwolves, reports Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link). Those games will take place on October 6, 10, and 13, respectively.
  • Former first-round pick Archie Goodwin has signed a contract with Turkish team ITU Basket, as Emiliano Carchia of Sportando relays. The 29th overall pick in the 2013 draft, Goodwin appeared in 165 regular season games with three NBA teams, but hasn’t played in the league since 2017.

And-Ones: Van Gundy, G League, Cole

Former Knicks coach and current ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy discussed a variety of subjects with Justin Terranova of The New York Post, including his opinions on David Fizdale, his brother Stan, and whether he’d ever want to coach in the NBA again.

Van Gundy, who last coached in the NBA with the Rockets in 2007, didn’t rule out a possible return to the sidelines in the future. He currently coaches the USA Basketball men’s national team, a roster comprised of mostly G League and former NBA players, doing his best to stay active outside of his job at ESPN.

“It’s been about the same. I always missed it,” Van Gundy said when asked about NBA coaching. “With any job you take the good with the bad and it’s hard to find the right fit. I am really fortunate to have a really good job that I enjoy. So, there’s no angst about coaching. If it happens, great. That’s why I like the Team USA and I’ve really enjoyed it. … I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about what’s next.”

Jeff’s brother, Stan Van Gundy, also joined ESPN this past summer to become an analyst. Stan was head coach and president of the Pistons last season, with both brothers working several different jobs with NBA teams across their respective careers. When asked about the possibility of the brothers calling an NBA game together for ESPN, Jeff gave an honest response.

“If we did, that’d be great. If we didn’t, that’d be fine, too,” Jeff said, according to Terranova. “I talk to [Stan] enough on the phone. It’s not like the only form of communication is if we do a game together. He’s doing his thing, and he’s doing really well. If we do a game it’d be a lot of fun.”

Here are a few other basketball odds and ends:

  • New G League president Shareef Abdur-Rahim hopes that every NBA team will have a G League affiliate by 2022, according to Marc J. Spears of ESPN’s The Undefeated. Abdur-Rahim is set to officially take over as G League president on Jan. 11, replacing Malcolm Turner. “I’ve seen the evolution of the league and the great work that Malcolm and has group has done,” Abdur-Rahim said. “To see where we are sitting now. … Going towards 30 teams, the professional path, the rebranding, it’s such a great situation with so many opportunities. You’re positioned really with a great team around it. There is so much opportunity to help craft with folks, craft a vision, craft ideas, move forward.”
  • Despite Abdur-Rahim’s goal, NBA commissioner Adam Silver believes the league can have 30 affiliates within “the next two years or so,” as we detailed in a recent story. Currently, 27 NBA franchises have a G League team.
  • Former NBA guard Norris Cole is leaving Sidigas Avellino in Italy, according to Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia. Cole will join Buducnost Voli as a free agent, a team located in Montenegro, Carchia reports. He last played in the NBA during the 2016/17 season.

Norris Cole To Play In Italy

Longtime NBA point guard Norris Cole will remain overseas for the coming season, according to Nicola Lupo of Sportando, who confirms that Cole will play for Italian club Scandone Avellino in 2018/19. The deal was first reported by Sportchannel214 (Twitter link).

It will be the second consecutive season in Europe for Cole, who spent the 2017/18 campaign with Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel. In 28 EuroLeague games for Maccabi, Cole posted 12.6 PPG, 3.8 APG, and 2.5 RPG. He also averaged 11.8 PPG, 3.6 APG, and 2.2 RPG in 32 Israeli League contests.

Before he headed overseas last year, Cole had appeared in 360 total NBA regular season games for the Heat, Pelicans, and Thunder. He also played in 68 postseason contests, winning titles with Miami in 2012 and 2013. The 29-year-old’s last NBA action came during the 2016/17 season, when he appeared in 13 games for Oklahoma City.

Point Guard Norris Cole Headed To Israel

Point guard Norris Cole will sign a one-year contract with Maccabi Tel Aviv of the Euroleague, international journalist David Pick tweets via a source.

Cole, 28, appeared in 13 games with the Thunder last season after finally landing an NBA job in March. He averaged 3.3 PPG and 1.1 APG in 9.6 MPG and shot just 30.8% from the field. The previous season, he started 23 of 45 games with the Pelicans and averaged a career-high 10.6 PPG and 3.7 APG in 26.6 MPG. He spent his first 3 1/2 seasons with the Heat.

According to earlier tweet from Pick, the contract is worth $700K.

Cole didn’t generate much buzz on the free agent market, though he did work out with the Hornets last month.

Norris Cole Receives Euroleague Offer

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.