Can you name Oklahoma City’s backup point guard behind Russell Westbrook?
If you knew the answer, you probably went to Xavier for college. He’s a rookie on a minimum contract, a guy who has played more than 600 minutes this season for the Thunder with a PER of 5.4, a player way below replacement level in the league — not a guy the Thunder want to lean on down the stretch and into the playoffs. So they have reached a deal with NBA veteran Norris Cole, reports Shams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.
After creating roster space in a trade that included Cameron Payne, the Oklahoma City Thunder and free agent Norris Cole have agreed to a contract for the remainder of the season, league sources told The Vertical.
You probably remember Cole as a reserve guard with the Heat during that team’s title runs with LeBron James and company. He was with the Pelicans for a couple of years, but they chose not to offer him a contract last summer (and when you consider their guard situation, that is saying something). So Cole started the season playing in China, but returned to the United States in December following an injury.
Cole will be an upgrade at the point off the bench for the Thunder, although not a dramatic one. The Thunder will still go as Russell Westbrook goes, they just may not be quite as bad when he sits.