Cole Swider expresses confidence in being able to help Miami Heat in multiple ways'
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The Miami Heat made a minor splash in the offseason by signing swingman Cole Swider, who previously played for the Los Angeles Lakers.

It seems he is eager to earn a spot in the Heat’s rotation, saying that the Heat can use him similarly to how they have deployed sharpshooters Duncan Robinson, Gabe Vincent and Max Strus. Swider also mentioned that he has deep familiarity with zone defense, a tactic that Miami is known for taking advantage of in games.

“Because of the type of guys like me in the past, they know how to use guys like me,” Swider told the Sun Sentinel. “When I do something in pickup that looks like Duncan or Max or Gabe, they know how to use me in a game. It’s not like, ‘Oh, this only works in pickup.’ We play a lot of zone; I played a lot of zone in college.”

It’s interesting that Swider mentioned those three players, as the beginning of his NBA journey was akin to how Robinson, Vincent and Strus made it to the league. All of them went undrafted before landing in Miami, eventually carving out rotation spots through hard work.

The 24-year-old also appears cognizant of the franchise’s knack for developing undrafted prospects. He even said that he chose the Heat over other teams like the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks, believing that he fits in Miami well.

Even so, Swider has his work cut out for him. He was unable to crack the Lakers’ rotation last season, playing in only seven games and a total of 41 minutes. He did display an ability to space the floor by hitting 37.5 percent of his attempts from the 3-point area.

In the G League, he was able to showcase his game more. Suiting up in 27 games for the South Bay Lakers, he put up 17.1 points and 4.8 rebounds per contest while shooting 50.6 percent from the field and 43.6 percent from beyond the arc.

With the Heat, Swider might have to be more than just a marksman to become a serviceable rotation player, which he is something his apparently aware of. He said that he can help Miami through his rebounding acumen.

“Being able to do other things on the court obviously helps you stay out on the court,” Swider added. “I think I’m a really good rebounder. I averaged 6.8 rebounds a game in college, and also averaged six rebounds in the summer league. So I think I can rebound at a high level. I think I have a really good understanding of the game, as well, so I can play with star players, and be a guy like a Max Strus, playing off of Jimmy [Butler] and Bam [Adebayo] and the other great players on our team, Tyler [Herro].

“So I’m excited to show those things, but, at the same time, knowing that I am out there to be a specialist, an elite shooter, a Duncan Robinson, Max Strus prototype.”

Last season, the Heat were one of the worst rebounding squads in the league, hauling in an average of 40.6 boards per game. Only three other teams recorded a worse average. It remains to be seen if the 6-foot-9 newcomer can also help Miami in that area.

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Orel writes all day, everyday. During the day, he writes and does research to complete his master's degree in education. During the night, he writes about the league he has loved since the '90s: the NBA.