In recent years, the Los Angeles Lakers generated significant buzz around swingman Cole Swider. On a two-way contract, Swider captured the attention of fans, but his journey with the team came to an end this past summer. Many supporters expressed disappointment over this decision, but the Lakers believed they could optimize their two-way roster spot with a different player. While Swider showcased strong three-point shooting, he struggled to contribute in other aspects of the game.
Following his departure from the Lakers, Swider found a new home with the Miami Heat, where he has been making waves during their training camp. When Heat star center Bam Adebayo was asked about standout performers in their camp, he wasted no time pointing to Swider, the former Lakers sharpshooter.
The Miami Heat have a track record of transforming players like Swider into valuable NBA role players. This has left Lakers fans pondering whether their team made a crucial error in letting him go. However, the verdict on this matter is straightforward: it was not a mistake.
“Cole is really, really showing he can really shoot the ball,” Adebayo said. “He can play on different types of teams. He can play with the young fellas, he also can play with Kyle Lowry and Kevin Love and be under control and learn how to flow in the offense.”
Undeniably, Swider boasts remarkable shooting skills, but his limitations become evident when assessing his overall contribution. His defensive abilities were a work in progress, and his on-court consistency left much to be desired. While these shortcomings were primarily observed in the NBA Summer League, it’s reasonable to assume that against stiffer NBA competition, Swider would have struggled to keep up.
To be fair, Swider possesses the attributes of a good player, including size. Still, the Lakers, in their development phase, couldn’t retain him while he was still evolving. The decision to release him wasn’t arbitrary; it was a calculated move. The Lakers would not have parted ways with Swider if they believed he could significantly impact their future prospects. Thus, it’s crucial to place our trust in their decision-making.
As Cole Swider continues his journey with the Miami Heat, Lakers fans wish him the best of luck, hoping that he can secure a rotation spot with the Heat in the upcoming season.