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Wizards reportedly interested in Norris Cole

The Wizards reportedly reached out to Miami about trading for Cole to help solve the team's bench issues.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

As has been mentioned by many, including John Wall, the Wizards could use another shot creator off the bench. As the trade deadline approaches, we've heard names like Jameer Nelson and Will Bynum come up as low-cost options to help shore things up. Today, a new name has been thrown into the Wizards' rumor mill that we weren't expecting, according to Real GM:

There's two big reason why we weren't expecting Cole to show up in trade rumors. First and foremost, Cole has not been good this season. On the peripheral, Cole seems like he has the right skillset to fill the Wizards' need, but he has not been getting done in Miami. Let's list everything that hasn't gone right for Cole this season:

  • After his career-high 23 point outburst in the season opener against the Wizards, he hasn't scored more than 15 in any other game this season.
  • He can't beat out Mario Chalmers and Shabazz Napier for more than 24 minutes of playing time.
  • He's shooting under 39 percent from the field and under 27 percent from beyond the arc.
  • He's 426th in Real Plus/Minus, according to ESPN. (In full disclosure, Jameer Nelson, who we're more okay with, is below Cole in RPM, though it's worth nothing that's because his DRPM is significantly lower than Cole's. Nelson ORPM has been higher).
  • He also temporarily forgot how inbound passes work earlier this season.

Secondly, Cole isn't on a veteran's minimum contract. Because of that, the Wizards can only have two options in a trade:

  • Option A: DeJuan Blair
  • Option B: Packaging two of the Wizards' three veteran's minimum players (Drew Gooden, Rasual Butler, Garrett Temple). The Heat would also need to release someone to open up a roster spot.

A Blair-Cole swap would make some sense for the Wizards here if you look at Cole as an expiring contract, because they would get out from under the second year of Blair's deal. But if we had to guess, Blair-for-Cole was the original deal that didn't match the Heat's asking price, and if that's the case, it's hard to see a deal getting done here. It's really hard to see the Wizards pursuing Option B unless they're getting something more in return than Cole. While Gooden, Butler and Temple aren't franchise cornerstones, they've shown more value than Cole this season. And if you're looking at trying to trade for someone who hasn't been as good as your veteran's minimum players, maybe you're better off just waiting to see who gets bought out.