Norris Cole maybe played the best basketball of his NBA career after the All-Star break for New Orleans last season. He averaged 9.9 points and 3.2 assists per contest and played good defense. He was solid in the playoffs against Golden State.
He still sits out there, unsigned. He’s a restricted free agent and the Pelicans offered him a $3 million qualifying offer. No other team has stepped up to give Cole a bigger offer, in part because they all assume the Pelicans would just match.
But a source close to Cole said talk pretty much remain at a standstill with training camp only two weeks away from starting at The Greenbrier in West Virginia on Sept. 29…
Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said they definitely want Cole back for this upcoming season, but he didn’t have an update on negotiations….
It’s all but apparent that Cole believes his value on the open market is worth more than the Pelicans’ $3 million qualifying offer. But at this point, a majority of teams have already used up most of their cap space.
The Pelicans decided to let the market set the price for Cole, but with other teams just assuming they would be matched none made offers. As Reid notes, the Sixers and Lakers had reported interest in Cole but the teams signed Kendall Marshall and Marcello Huertas, respectively, to fill that role.
In the end, Cole may have to play for the qualifying offer, become an unrestricted free agent next summer, and hope that the combination of his play and the glut of money in the market because of the new television deal gets him the contract he wants. Because that one isn’t coming in the next couple weeks.