MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – The Miami Heat had two glaring needs heading into the 2011 NBA Draft: point guard and center. While the center position couldn’t be addressed, the Heat traded into the first round to land point guard Norris Cole out of Cleveland State University.
While not the big name many Heat fans were hoping for, Cole may give the Heat just what they needed from the point guard position.
The Heat acquired the 28th selection from Minnesota, who got it from Chicago, who got it from Toronto, who got it from Miami. There will be a quiz later.
Cole’s selection was also the first time since 1996 that the Heat has traded into the first round of the NBA Draft.
Cole started 105 consecutive games in college and was one of the two players in the last 15 years to score 40 points and grab 20 rebounds in a game. He stands 6’2” and weighs a little more than 170 pounds.
Cole averaged 21.7 points and shot 34.2 percent from three-point range as a senior. He also dished out 5.3 assists per game as a senior. He’s very efficient from the free-throw line, shooting over 82.6 percent. Cole also is a cousin of Philadelphia Eagles star defensive end Trent Cole.
NBA insiders had varying opinions about Cole’s potential with the Heat. ESPN’s insider Chad Ford said that if Cole had “played at a school like Duke instead of Cleveland State, he’d probably have been 10 to 15 spots higher on the board.”
Ford said Cole could become a significant upgrade over Mario Chalmers in a year or two.
But ESPN’s Tom Haberstroh found some issues that Cole will have to fix if he wants to make the active roster and contribute to the Heat. Haberstroh found that Cole only shot 28.3 percent last season on 3-pointers that came from a pass.
But, Haberstroh also noted that a large percentage of Cole’s three-pointers came off the dribble. Still, Cole only shot 34.2 percent from three-point land overall.