Jun 10, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat guard Norris Cole (30) dribbles while being defended by San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills (8) during the first half of game three of the 2014 NBA Finals at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Gary Payton to Work With Norris Cole This Summer

Depending on what happens with Mario Chalmers, whose contract expires this offseason, Norris Cole could see a more important role on the Miami Heat next season.

Helping him prepare for next season is former Heat and NBA great Gary Payton, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.

Former NBA All-Star Gary Payton said he will work with Norris Cole this summer because “I like him a lot. I like his game. He needs to develop a floater in the middle.”

Cole said last week: “I believe I’m starter-caliber.” But certainly not yet.

Cole is one of the few players who has a guaranteed contract with the Heat next season. He has shown noticeable progression in each of his three seasons, from playing improved defense to extending his shooting range.

As for Chalmers, we may have seen the last of him. Rio struggled throughout the playoffs and, after being benched in the final game of the season, things didn’t end well for both sides.

Heat coaches have invested plenty of time with Cole but the players touch has a lot of value. Cole learned to prepare for games from Ray Allen these past two seasons and Payton, one of the best point guards of this era, has a wealth of knowledge.

Should Payton teach Cole the ways of leading an offense (and the floater), Cole could certainly make a push to start for the Heat next season. That would help Pat Riley cross one thing off his wish list this offseason.

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