As the Los Angeles Lakers made a number of moves during the offseason, one that may have been forgotten was that they waived veteran guard Quinn Cook. A locker room and fan favorite, Cook didn’t play many regular minutes but was beloved on all fronts and was a constant source of positivity.
Just two weeks after he was waived, Cook was re-signed by the Lakers, but on a non-guaranteed contract. He stuck with the team through training camp and the regular season so far. But with the Lakers struggling and potential moves on the horizon, the idea of clearing salary cap space became likely.
In order to accomplish as much, the Lakers are poised to waive Cook before his contract becomes fully guaranteed on Wednesday, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic:
The Los Angeles Lakers are waiving guard Quinn Cook, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Teams are expected to express interest in Cook, who has served as a reliable guard and locker room voice for two title teams in LA and Golden State.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 23, 2021
Cook appeared in just 16 games this season, almost all of which came in garbage time. He averaged 2.1 points in less than four minutes per game. While the Lakers did value him, the need to have more flexibility in the buyout market outweighed what Cook brings to the locker room.
The franchise has already been linked to DeMarcus Cousins, who is on the verge of being released by the Houston Rockets. L.A. also reportedly has interest in P.J. Tucker, though it is unclear whether he will eventually be released.
Markieff Morris was a buyout addition last season and played a major role in the Lakers’ championship run.
For Cook this is surely not the outcome he would have preferred, but he has praised the Lakers for their handling of this situation in the past. “The Lakers were very transparent with me, very honest,” Cook said after re-joining the team last December.
“They had to restructure the roster and I had a nice contract last year, so I understood what could happen. I’ve been waived multiple times. They handled everything the most professional way. They really care for me and my best interests.”
Lakers would benefit from Cousin’s presence
The release of Cook is sure to increase speculation that the Lakers will make a move on Cousins.
The move makes sense as big man depth has been a concern for the Lakers this season and Cousins is familiar with the team.
Though he didn’t see the floor after suffering an offseason injury, Cousins spent a large part of last season with the Lakers and the team has planned on giving him a championship ring.