by Chris Camello (@Chris_Camello)
EL SEGUNDO, CA – One of the more underrated and brilliant moves for the Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka this summer was the signing of guard Quinn Cook, a former NBA champion with the Golden State Warriors.
The Lakers inked Cook to a two-year deal hoping he not only brings championship experience, but a scoring punch off the bench, particularly from three-point range. Cook is shooting just under 42 percent from beyond the arc in his career, a key stat considering the Lakers front office have tried to surround LeBron James and Anthony Davis with as many shooters as possible.
However, just providing floor spacing to James and Davis isn’t the only value Cook brings to the Lakers. Cook was apart of the Golden State Warriors’ last two runs to the Finals, which included a championship in 2018. He wasn’t chillin’ at the end of the bench either, he played meaningful minutes and was willing to step up when asked to do so.
When Steph Curry was injured in the early rounds of the 2018 playoffs, it was Cook who came up off the bench and filled in admirably for the two-time MVP, running high pick-and-roll sets and knocking down clutch shots when needed.
Cook has never shied away from those big moments when the lights are brightest; rather he calmly and confidently embraces them. Even if he’s struggling to make shots, he will keep gunning believing the next one will go in. Those will be significant qualities on this Lakers team, as they will need somebody to step up and bury a clutch shot with opponents likely double-teaming James and Davis late in games.
The Lakers won’t be short of playmaking, defensive guards with Rajon Rondo, Alex Caruso, and Avery Bradley on board. However, those three can’t shoot from downtown like Cook, which gives coach Frank Vogel different options at that position depending on match-ups.
Cook has worked hard to get to this point going from the G-League to becoming a solid role player in the NBA, he’s been a solid piece on a championship team, a capable and willing shooter, and has experience playing alongside star players.
Whether he starts or comes off the bench, the Lakers should feel fortunate to have Cook on this roster.