The Los Angeles Lakers hit a rough patch without Anthony Davis and Dennis Schroder, experiencing a drop off on both ends of the floor that led to a losing streak.
LeBron James has done his best to keep Los Angeles afloat, but the team as a whole has yet to show they can consistently keep pace with opponents whenever he is off the floor. Aside from their skid, the Lakers made some headlines when they decided to waive fan-favorite Quinn Cook.
Cook was signed to a non-guaranteed contract, and the timing of his release gave L.A. some wiggle room under the hard cap. They went on to use one of their available roster spots to sign Damian Jones to a 10-day contract.
“He will definitely be missed,” Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said of waiving Cook. “First of all, he’s a heck of a basketball player. We have depth at that position, so that’s the only reason he wasn’t getting in. I have a lot of confidence in his abilities on the floor and he’s a 10-out-of-10 culture fit with our group. Understands his role, and you need guys like that.
“When you’re filling out your roster you’ve got to have guys that are willing to not play but still stay ready and contribute when your number is called. He exemplified that as well as you can. He did a great job for us and we certainly wish him well.”
Cook only appeared in 16 games for the Lakers during the 2020-21 season, often playing during garbage time. Despite his minimal playing opportunities, Cook was always a positive influence in the locker room and was a reason why the chemistry on the team was so positive.
Potential candidates for the Lakers open roster spot
As a contending team, the Lakers will be at or near the top of the list for free agents or buyout players. Given the current state of the roster, Los Angeles could use another big or wing defender. The general assumption is Jones won’t be with the team for long.
DeMarcus Cousins is a popular name, but the the Lakers reportedly will not pursue a reunion. The likes of Hassan Whiteside would also fit the mold of a shot-blocking center the Lakers could use. Also, there’s Trevor Ariza who has yet to appear in a game for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
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