Nearly one week after 2019 NBA free agency officially began, Kawhi Leonard signed with the Los Angeles Clippers over the Los Angeles Lakers and Toronto Raptors.
While the Lakers waiting for one of the three best players in the league right now made sense, the downside was other All-Star and role players quickly made their decisions.
As a result, the Lakers quickly pivoted to Plan B which featured signing Danny Green while re-signing both Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and JaVale McGee.
After becoming an unrestricted free agent, Quinn Cook reportedly has signed a two-year, $6 million deal with the Lakers, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports:
Free agent guard Quinn Cook has reached an agreement with the Los Angeles Lakers on a two-year, $6 million deal, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 6, 2019
Out of all of the positions in the free agent market right now, point guard was perhaps the thinnest. While Cook is a career 41.8% three-point shooter, he will need to improve in numerous areas and may have an opportunity to do so.
For the Lakers, they will need to improve on their depth at that position as well. Along with Cook, it would not be surprising for the Lakers to re-sign Rajon Rondo and/or Alex Caruso with their remaining cap space moving forward.
Although it is difficult to replace what Leonard could have brought to the team’s Big 3, the Lakers are still in a good position. With LeBron James and Anthony Davis, they should be able to compete in a more balanced league.
For the first time in five seasons, the Golden State Warriors are no longer the favorites to win it all in the 2020 NBA Finals. With Leonard and Paul George teaming up on the Clippers, the 2019-20 NBA season should be interesting.
Since the Lakers have some roster spots left, it will be interesting to see who else general manager Rob Pelinka signs with DeMarcus Cousins and Marcus Morris available.