With some uncertainty surrounding the point guard position, the Sixers may be looking into bringing a relatively well known name into the mix.
According to Mike Scotto of SheridanHoops.com, Philadelphia has expressed interest in Norris Cole, a restricted free agent who most recently played with the New Orleans Pelicans.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Philadelphia 76ers have expressed interest in New Orleans Pelicans restricted free agent Norris Cole, a league source tells Sheridan Hoops.</p>— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) <a href="https://twitter.com/MikeAScotto/status/620974778011230208">July 14, 2015</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Because Cole is restricted and not unrestricted, the Pelicans will have the first right of refusal on any offer sheet another team may sign him too.
He was traded from the Miami Heat to New Orleans right before the trade deadline, but between the two teams averaged 7.6 points, shooting 41.6% from the floor and 31.3% from beyond the arc.
I can totally understand the Sixers feeling the need to go out and try and get another point guard, in fact, I appreciate it. But as I try and identify guys who would be a legitimate upgrade over what the Sixers already have, I really don't think Norris Cole is that guy.
He's a shoot first point guard who is pretty inefficient, and also doesn't really play good defense. With the 26-year-old Cole on the floor, the Pelicans averaged 93.0 points, and had a +/- of -2.7. With Cole off the floor, they averaged 101.6 points, with a +/- of 5.6. The numbers were similarly bad in Miami.
The Pelicans are pretty tied up money wise right now, with over $73 million in guaranteed contracts already spent on 10 guys (not including Cole's $3,036,927 qualifying offer). However, New Orleans does have Cole's bird rights, and could match whatever offer presents itself. They could really be inclined to keep him as well based off their current ball handler situation. Jrue Holiday is a walking question mark now in regards to his health, and the only other point guard on the team is Toney Douglas, whose contract is non-guaranteed. Tyreke Evans really would be the best backup point guard on the team, but he doesn't play on ball nearly as much as he should.
Hopefully the Sixers interest here isn't anything more than exploratory. Cole is pretty mediocre, and has the chance to be super expensive if Philadelphia thinks they need to outbid New Orleans. The team does have money to spend, but signing Cole seems like it would be spending money just for the sake of doing it.
Some names that would make more sense include Ish Smith, who really excelled in his 25 game stint with Philadelphia, as well as Kendall Marshall, who is an excellent passer and decent shooter, but will be returning from an ACL tear. Both would be cheap, and a much better fit than Cole.