How Does the Departure of Veteran Guard Quinn Cook Affect the Los Angeles Lakers?

February 23, 2021 9:05 pm

Defending champions Los Angeles Lakers arguably have one of the best rosters in the NBA. They have depth in every position, be it in the front court or the back court.

With a plethora of guards available, the Lakers are reportedly willing to part ways with veteran guard Quinn Cook. The Athletic’s Shams Charania recently reported that the champions are letting go off of the veteran guard.

Cook can be a great addition to multiple teams. Given that he is a career 40% shooter and an able distributor, he can be a spark plug in any contending team. His experience can be helpful for other younger guards as well.

Cook arguably had his best seasons with the Golden State Warriors. In the Dubs, the 28-year-old relished his role as a bench player and averaged 9.5 points, 2.7 assists, and 2.5 rebounds per game, coming off of the bench.

His electrifying form in the Dubs clearly hasn’t been seen with the Lakers, however. With guards like Kentavious Caldwell Pope and Alex Caruso putting up more work defensively, his minutes reduced significantly.

The 28-year-old had fallen down in the pecking order this season even further, with the emergence of 20-year-old Talen Horton-Tucker. The Lakers waiving him might be the best thing for both the parties.

How Cook’s departure might be beneficial for the Lakers

Although Lakers might be losing an influential player in Cook, his departure can be a blessing in disguise for the champions. The Lakers are in a tricky situation right now with an Achilles’ injury to their superstar, Anthony Davis.

This injury will keep Davis out, at least for a month. AD’s latest injury has exposed a glaring dearth of size and athleticism in the front court. This opens an amazing opportunity for Rob Pelinka to strengthen the already deep Lakers’ roster.

With Cook out of the picture, the champions open up a roster spot and add some flexibility to their cap space. With the additional $3 million available from Cook’s salary, the Lakers might have a great chance to sign a quality center from the buyout market.

Three notable names have emerged in the buyout market- Blake Griffin, Andre Drummond, and DeMarcus Cousins. Both Drummond and Griffin look amazing additions on paper, but given their mammoth contracts, it looks unlikely that the Lakers will sign either of them.

Jan 2, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; DeMarcus Cousins #15 of the Houston Rockets reacts following a call during the first quarter of a game against the Sacramento Kings at Toyota Center on January 02, 2021 in Houston, Texas. Mandatory Credit: Carmen Mandato/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

Given their available cap space, DeMarcus Cousins seems to be the ideal addition. Boogie was a part of their roster in 2019-20. They eventually released him because of the string of injuries he suffered as a Laker.

This season, Cousins is finally healthy and looks decent on the court. He is averaging 9.6 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. Given that he signed a minimum contact with the Rockets earlier this season, he will be available for cheap for the Lakers.

Lakers should sign Cousins with the one remaining guaranteed minimum exception available. If the 30-year-old does agree, he will earn a reported $2,331,593 per year.

Not only will he add some much needed size, he will also be useful in the offensive end. Who do you think the Lakers will sign after Cook’s departure?

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Aditya Mohapatra

Aditya Mohapatra is a sports enthusiast who primarily covers the NBA for EssentiallySports. Having graduated in Mass Communication, he has prior experience in writing for ABP News. This die-hard Lakers fan considers LeBron James his idol.

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