Miami Heat Reportedly Rejecting Trade Inquiries for Norris Cole

Ben Leibowitz@BenLeboCorrespondent IIIFebruary 19, 2014

Jan 2, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat point guard Norris Cole (30) dribbles against the Golden State Warriors during the second half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

With the Feb. 20 NBA trade deadline fast approaching, the two-time defending champion Miami Heat are reportedly rejecting all trade offers for point guard Norris Cole.

According to Shams Charania of Real GM, "For every call, the Heat have offered stiff rejections, sources said, and value Cole as one of their best young assets."

The 25-year-old out of Cleveland State was selected 28th overall in the first round of the 2011 draft. Miami traded up three spots to get him, sending the No. 31 pick, a future second-round pick and cash to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange, per Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

Could Norris Cole replace Mario Chalmers in 2014-15?
Could Norris Cole replace Mario Chalmers in 2014-15?Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

The youngster wasn't a marquee name on draft night, but he's provided the Heat with a solid safety net behind starting point guard Mario Chalmers.

Cole has upped his level of play in three straight seasons and is posting career highs in 2013-14 by averaging 7.6 points, 3.2 assists, 2.6 rebounds, 44.7 percent shooting from the field, 38.3 percent from three-point range and 82.4 percent from the free-throw line. He has played all 51 games thus far for Miami (six starts).

It makes sense that the Heat value him as one of their best young assets because Cole still has one year remaining on his rookie deal for the 2014-15 season. Chalmers, meanwhile, faces uncertainty because his contract of $4 million is set to expire this summer, making him an unrestricted free agent.

Cole was able to prove himself as a reliable cog in head coach Erik Spoelstra's system during the 2013 playoffs. He scored 18 points in back-to-back games against the Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference Semifinals—shooting 81.8 percent from downtown in the series.

The Heat are aiming to win their third straight championship, so there's no reason for them to rock the boat by sending a key rotational piece away via trade. 

All contract information courtesy of ShamSports.

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