Wednesday September 16th, 2015

The New Orleans Pelicans signed guard Norris Cole to a one-year qualifying deal, agent Rich Paul told Yahoo! Sports on Wednesday.

Cole will make $3.03 million with the Pelicans next season before entering unrestricted free agency for 2016–17. If Cole signed with another team, the Pelicans would have been forced to match that deal in order to keep him.

Cole, 27 next month, spent 28 games with the Pelicans last season after a trade from the Miami Heat in February. The four-year guard averaged 9.9 points and 3.2 assists over 24.4 minutes for the Pelicans, and averaged 7.6 points and 3.4 assists for the entire season.

MAHONEY: Southwest Division off-season grades | Free agency grades

The Heat drafted Cole as the 28th pick in the 2011 NBA draft. Over his four NBA seasons, he has averaged 6.6 points and 2.6 assists while shooting 41% from the floor and 32.6% from three-point range.

The Pelicans finished 45–37 last season as the Western Conference’s No. 8 seed. They were swept out of the playoffs in the first round by the eventual NBA champion Golden State Warriors.

Mike Fiammetta

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