After appearing in just seven games for the Los Angeles Lakers in his rookie season, former SU Small Forward Cole Swider has found a new home in the NBA. Swider has signed with the Miami Heat. While the details are unknown, Swider could flourish in South Beach.
Swider absolutely dominated the NBA Summer League this year, averaging 15.3 points and 5.7 rebounds a game. Swider shot 46% from the field, 45% from three and 93% from the free throw line. Something that is no surprise to SU fans after his impressive 2021-22 season with the Orange.
In his seven NBA games last year, Swider averaged under six minutes and under two points per game. In that small sample size, Swider shot 33% from the field. Expect him to play much better though under Eric Spoelstra in Miami. The Heat have been known for developing second-round and undrafted players in recent years. Five members of the Heats rotation in the 2023 NBA playoffs were undrafted players- Caleb Martin, Gabe Vincent, Max Strus, Duncan Robinson, and Haywood Highsmith. Two other players on the Heats roster weren’t selected in Udonis Haslem and Omer Yurtseven.
Swider could be a similar player to Duncan Robinson who lost his starting job and dealt with injuries last year. At his peak, Robinson was a lockdown shooter, shooting close to 45% from three in the 2019-20 NBA season. Last year, he shot just 37% from deep.
Swider is now the 4th former Syracuse player to be signed to an NBA roster. Last week, Buddy Boeheim signed an Exhibit 10 deal with the Pistons. The two other Syracuse players in the NBA are Oshae Brissett on the Celtics and Jerami Grant on the Trail Blazers. Four still seems like a small amount of NBA players to come out of a basketball program like Syracuse. However, it is a good sign to see another recent Orange get picked up.