Philadelphia 76ers PG options: Norris Cole


This will be the start of an examination of point guard options for the Philadelphia 76ers for the 2015-2016 season.

I’m very adamant in my belief that the Philadelphia 76ers are a quality point guard away from being competitive. Not a look for a playoff spot, but competitive.

Last year, the Sixers used a mix of Isaiah Canaan, Tony Wroten and Ish Smith at the point. The trio was serviceable at best, but at least Wroten will be back after partially tearing his ACL.

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Phila needs a solid, veteran point guard to contribute, and Norris Cole is a player who would fit that role perfectly. Cole has been in the NBA since 2011, and he was a role player on Miami’s Championship teams of 2011 and 2012.

He was never really the reason why the Heat won a game, but he was a huge part of the depth that the team desperately lacked during their failed title run in the first year of existence of “The Big Three.”

If brought in, Cole likely won’t be the starter, even on this Sixers squad. Cole has proven in the past that he’s overwhelmed while guarding opposing team’s best point guards, so a supporting role is one that would suit Cole best.

Cole can provide energy off of the bench, and he’s a solid point guard who isn’t deadly accurate, but can still make defenses pay for leaving him open. He rarely takes plays off and he’s always hustling, no matter what.

Although he’s somewhat of a shoot-first guard, his offensive skill set would fit in well with the Sixers. He was able to showcase more of his abilities once he left Miami and took on a larger role with the Pelicans last year. He shot a career high in three-point percentage, and he also had a career-high in points per game once he left Miami.

CSN Philly’s Matt Haughton called Cole “the quintessential jack of all trades, master of none.” It’s an accurate description, but Cole would be a nice addition.

He doesn’t excel on defense, and that’s certainly an area he needs to improve on. However, he’s a tenacious, feisty player who has a Philadelphia swagger on the court.

Although the Pelicans showed initial interest to retain Cole, numerous outlets have reported he has received interest from other teams, including the 76ers.

According to Mike Scotto of, the Sixers expressed interest in the former Pelican.

Since Cole is a restricted free agent, the Pelicans would have a chance to match any offer. Since New Orleans doesn’t exactly have a surplus of money, it’s feasible to think Cole will be gone, whether he goes to Philadelphia or not.

Would the flat-topped baller be able to completely solve the Sixers’ woes at the point guard position? No, probably not. Cole is not a starting-caliber NBA point guard. However, the Sixers would likely benefit from adding an experienced player who has never been a part of a team with a sub-.500 record.

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The 26-year-old gard has more playoff experience and knows more about winning than the entire 76ers roster combined, and as previously mentioned, he wasn’t just warming the bench during his postseason time.

Joining the Sixers would probably be a little bit of a culture shock for Cole, who has always been on a team with a sure-fire superstar — LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Anthony Davis — so he would have to adapt to the team-style of the 76ers.

Bringing in Cole would be similar to when the Philadelphia Eagles brought in cornerback Cary Williams to help bolster an area of need. Williams was previously with the Baltimore Ravens where he won a Super Bowl, so he brought some experience to a unit that needed some. Although it’s comparing apples to oranges, it wouldn’t be too dissimilar, as both players are solid, but not great.

The issue with Cole could possibly be the price. If the Sixers think they could be more efficient by spending money elsewhere, then it’s not hard to understand why signing Cole wouldn’t happen.

While it wouldn’t be a season-saving signing, adding a veteran like Norris Cole could benefit the 76ers and provide them with another reliable, young player.

Next: How Well Can Robert Covington Play Next Season?

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