The Philadelphia 76ers may be interested in free agent Norris Cole this offseason after signing Pierre Jackson and the Sixers could also be an option for a Ty Lawson trade and this comes as Joel Embiid will be out for the season and with Jahlil Okafor looking impressive in Summer League play.
The Sixers are still in a hard rebuild, but they have as much young talent as anyone and now they have added Okafor to the mix. The team traded for Nik Stauskas this offseason and the point guard position could be next to get addressed by Sam Hinkie. The team signed Pierre Jackson and they also have Tony Wroten and Isaiah Canaan on the roster at the position. According to Michael Scotto at Sheridan Hoops, sources have the 76ers and Pelicans interested in Cole. The Sixers also have been getting some strong play from Okafor in the Summer League and he will be relied on even more with Joel Embiid out for the season with an injury.
Cole was traded to the New Orleans Pelicans last season from the Miami Heat and he is a restricted free agent after receiving a qualifying offer. The Pelicans reportedly are interested in bringing back Cole and they have the right to match any offer, but the Sixers could come in with a high offer sheet with the cap space they have. The qualifying offer was around $3 million and Cole could be a solid option for the Sixers, as he is an experienced point guard and he could end up starting for the team is he is signed.
Cole is just 26 years old and he comes in after averaging 7.6 points and 3.4 assists in 75 games last season. Cole played over 20 minutes per game for the Heat in 2013-14 and played significant time in the playoffs for the team. Cole would be an upgrade over what the Sixers have on the roster and he has plenty of experience playing for a winning team. Philadelphia may not make the playoffs just yet, but with Okafor, Nerlens Noel and Stauskas on the team there is some potential.
The Sixers could also make an upgrade at point guard by taking a chance on Ty Lawson, as the Nuggets are looking to waive the veteran after a DUI. The Nuggets may have a hard time trading Lawson after that and according to Pro Basketball Talk, a team with cap space could go after him if he is placed on waivers. The Sixers are mentioned by reporter Dan Feldman as an option and that could be a fit if Cole goes back to the Pelicans.
According to Chris Mannix at SI.com, the Nuggets are shopping Lawson in a trade and teams like the Lakers, Pistons and Rockets could be interested. Mannix writes that the Kings and the Philadelphia 76ers also could be fits. The Sixers signed Pierre Jackson this offseason to a partially guaranteed four year deal, according to Keith Pompey at PhillyNews.com. Jackson announced the news about the deal on Instagram and it comes as he is playing in the Summer League for the Sixers. Jackson is coming back from an Achilles injury and after the Sixers drafted Jackson back in 2013 and was later traded by the Sixers.