After the Los Angeles Lakers swung a blockbuster trade for Anthony Davis and signed Danny Green to a two-year, $30 million contract, the front office quickly found affordable options to fill out the rest of the roster.
One of the players they targeted was Quinn Cook, who spent last season with the Golden State Warriors. Cook and the Lakers agreed on a two-year, $6 million deal with a partial guarantee in the second year.
Cook played sparingly during the 2019-20 season, often coming in to provide spacing and an extra ball handler when needed. Los Angeles had a stable guard rotation of Avery Bradley, Rajon Rondo, and Alex Caruso to lean on, so Cook found it difficult to earn consistent minutes.
However, the Duke product will see more run after Bradley opted out of the NBA restart and Rondo fractured his thumb. “I’m very comfortable with running the second unit. I’ve had some spurts this year where I had to, and I feel like I performed well,” Cook said.
“Obviously, now later in the season, it’s a different type of basketball. I definitely feel confident. I know my teammates are confident in me. I obviously wish ‘Do and Avery were here, but it’s always next man up mentality. That’s what makes the team so special. Coaches and teammates, we all have confidence in each other and we all believe in ourselves first.”
Cook has playoff experience and did a solid job in last year’s NBA Finals knocking down shots when called upon. His time with the Warriors bodes well for the Lakers where he will be expected to do what he has always done and take some pressure off LeBron James and Davis.
Although not a traditional point guard and a bit undersized, Cook should still serve a role come playoff time and hopefully he will be able to come through when the team most needs it.
Danny Green confident Rondo will still make an impact
Caruso, Cook, JR Smith, and Dion Waiters all figure to see extended opportunities now that the Lakers are down two rotation guards in Bradley and Rondo.
Each player has their own niche, but none provide the same playmaking and leadership ability that Rondo possesses. Despite his uneven play, Rondo served as a clear leader on the team and was able to organize the team in the half court.
Green admitted that losing Rondo hurts the team, but mentioned he will still be able to contribute from the bench. “It’s a blow, but not as big of a blow because of how much he helps us on the sideline, coaching-wise,” Green said.
“I know he’ll still be there to help coach and teach. It would be great to have him on the floor making plays and being that floor general. When he scores 10-plus points, you guys know the record for us. I know he’ll be on that sideline coaching his [expletive] off and teaching us.”
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!