This week is a busy one for the Los Angeles Lakers and the NBA as not only did the 2020 Draft take place on Wednesday night, but free agency is set to begin on Friday and the start of training camp is just around the corner in a shortened offseason.
The Lakers have already gotten to work re-shaping their roster for their title defense in 2020-21, trading Danny Green and the 28th pick in this year’s draft to the Oklahoma City Thunder to acquire Dennis Schroder.
Next up, the Lakers need to figure out if some of their players like Avery Bradley and JaVale McGee will be picking up or declining their player options, which will determine how much money they have to spend in free agency. McGee has reportedly exercised his to remain with the team.
In the meantime, vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka has freed up some extra cap space by waiving point guard Quinn Cook and he will receive $1 million from a non-guaranteed contract, per Shams Charania of The Athletic:
Quinn Cook will receive $1M out of his $3M deal in 2020-21. https://t.co/pYZUxBCYdi
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 19, 2020
This move doesn’t come as a huge surprise considering Cook did not contribute a whole lot on the court in his lone season with the Lakers. In 44 games, he averaged 5.1 points, 1.2 rebounds and 1.1 points in just 11.5 minutes.
Cook was a fan favorite, however, as a lifelong Laker fan who grew up idolizing Kobe Bryant. Cook was also close with a ton of players on the roster, making him a key part of the locker room and a big reason why L.A.’s chemistry was so strong all season.
Waiving Cook frees up an extra $2 million in cap space for the Lakers, which gets them closer to being able to give out the full mid-level exception of $9.3 million to a player in free agency in the coming days.
With the addition of Schroder, and Alex Caruso still on the roster, the Lakers are essentially set at the point guard position, allowing them to use the extra cap space on either a center or wing player to replace Green.
Lakers in constant communication with Howard
One potential solution at the center position for the Lakers is re-signing Dwight Howard, who they are believed to be in constant communication with.
The Lakers can give Howard a slight raise without it affecting their cap, although it will remain to be seen how many other suitors he will have after reviving his career and winning his first championship with L.A. last season.
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