One of the more under the radar signings the Los Angeles Lakers made in free agency was the addition of Quinn Cook.
Cook was a solid backup for Stephen Curry and joined the Lakers on an extremely cheap two-year, $6 million deal. In fact, LeBron James himself made the call to general manager Rob Pelinka to get Cook on the team.
Cook definitely had interest from other teams, including the Golden State Warriors. However, it was the two All-Star players in Los Angeles as well as the connection to his late father who was a die-hard Lakers fan that brought him to the purple and gold.
On the court, it’s likely that Cook’s role will be diminished from his time with the Warriors, especially if the reports are true that James will play some point guard. However, Cook isn’t phased as he knows James should have a lot of the playmaking responsibility and that he’ll be ready to go when called upon.
“I think it’s great. Obviously, LeBron can play 1 through 5. We have so many weapons with him being a primary ballhandler. I think it’s definitely going to work,” Cook said in reference to James being the starting point guard.
“You got Rondo, myself, Alex, guys who can playmake when LeBron is off the ball. I think it’s great to have that problem to have so many guys who can play that position.”
Cook seems as excited as anyone to be a part of this team, and it’s little things like that that can really help a team get in a groove early. Obviously, All-Star players will play their best game night in and night out but once teams have gotten role players to buy in, they can really make moves.
Cook is one of those players that could be a difference-maker in important situations. His on-court blend of playmaking and three-point shooting is something that last year’s team was desperately missing. However, for the 2019-20 NBA season, it’s been their clear goal in roster building.
Pelinka seems to have gotten all the players that fit the mold that he was after and if Cook’s defense can improve under head coach Frank Vogel, that could be another layer to this team that many didn’t expect would exist.
The Lakers have one of the most talented rosters in basketball on paper, but it’s players like Cook who could make or break the team as depth and role players become more important in the age of load management. The good news is that Cook seems ready for the task, which is all that can be asked of him right now.