Norris Cole was the subject of vague trade rumors earlier this week before the Heat exercised its team option on his contract for next season. Even though the Heat locked up Cole’s contract, he can still be traded. On Wednesday, he seemed unconcerned about the rumor.
“I didn’t think anything of it because I can’t control what goes on in the business aspect of it,” Cole said. “All I can control is what [happens] on the court and how I play.”
It has been a wild two-year ride for Cole, who has won championships in each season he has been in the NBA. Cole's development now represents an asset for the Heat, which could hold onto him and pay him $2 million next season (which could actually represent $7 million if the team remains in $2.5/$1 luxury tax bracket), or trade him for a draft pick and then take its chances on the open market and hope a veteran point guard would sign on for the minimum. Of course, this is all just gross speculation/runaway imagination fantasyland at this point because everything changes if the Heat doesn't win the championship and LeBron bolts. At that point, Cole could be a building block for the future. There are other scenarios, of course, but we won't go down those wormholes. (They might end in a guy like Mo Williams coming to the Heat.)
“I’m playing with some of the best talent in the world and I’m getting a chance to develop under them, so it’s great,” Cole said. “My time will come. Right now it’s about winning and developing and getting better, and that’s what I’m trying to do.”
Like most everyone on the Heat’s roster, Cole reported to training camp at his normal playing weight. Mario Chalmers lost 10 pounds this summer, Dwyane Wade is leaner than he has been since 2008 and Ray Allen is close to weighing what he did at UConn.
Cole said a profound sense of determination hit home when the Heat’s players had their precamp body mass indexes cataloged and “everyone was lean and was at their playing weight, which is really unusual at training camp. So, the message was right there in the beginning that we’re serious about this season.”
“I think it was just the commitment to show that we’re trying to do something special here," Cole said. "We won back to back titles but we’re still not satisfied.”