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AP Source: Heat get Norris Cole in trade

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MIAMI (AP)

Another year, another player from Cleveland looks to be coming to Miami.

A person with familiar with the trade says the Miami Heat have agreed to a deal that will send Cleveland State guard Norris Cole to the Eastern Conference champions. The proposed trade is with the Minnesota Timberwolves, who were acquiring Cole in a separate deal with Chicago after the Bulls chose the Horizon League player of the year with the 28th overall pick in Thursday night's NBA draft.

The person spoke with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because an NBA call to approve the moves was still pending. That call is not scheduled to be completed until later Friday. The Heat were expected to send the rights to Bojan Bogdanovic to Minnesota, and a future second-rounder, in exchange for Cole.

The 6-foot-1, 175-pounder was the Horizon League player of the year and defensive player of the year, after averaging 21.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 5.3 assists as a senior. He helped Cleveland State reach the second round of the 2009 NCAA tournament, scoring 22 points in a first-round upset over Wake Forest - a game played on the Heat's home floor.

And now he's poised to join LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on a team that was two wins from an NBA title this season.

Miami entered the draft without a first-round selection, and resisted the urge to spend $3 million to move into the first round by buying a pick. Making a trade was much simpler for the Heat, and Cole addressed one of the team's major needs. The Heat do not have a point guard guaranteed for next season, though Mario Chalmers is a restricted free agent, is expected to be Miami's starter next year and wants to be back.

Cole sure seemed NBA ready at times in his college career.

Against Youngstown State on Feb. 12, he finished with 41 points, 20 rebounds and nine assists. The only other Division I player with a 40-20 game in the last 15 seasons was Oklahoma's Blake Griffin, the 2011 NBA rookie of the year for the Los Angeles Clippers.

Cole was one of the top contenders for the Bob Cousy Award, given to the nation's top college point guard, this past season, along with Connecticut's Kemba Walker (who won the award), Jimmer Fredette of BYU, Duke's Nolan Smith and Jordan Taylor of Wisconsin.

''I am extremely happy for Norris and his family,'' Cleveland State head coach Gary Waters said in a release. ''He is a complete player who is perfectly suited for the NBA. He shows great leadership ability as a point guard yet is capable of scoring in a number of ways himself. More importantly, his knowledge of the game is outstanding and he excels at getting his teammates involved in the play.''

For his career, Cole averaged 14.1 points.

''Norris, in my estimation, is the best guard in the Midwest,'' Waters said last season, when Cleveland State was off to an 11-0 start. ''His floor game is starting to catch up with his abilities. It's taken him two years to identify what he has to do as a point guard, and now it's coming easy to him.''

Tagged: Heat

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