For the first year and a half of Quinn Cook’s career, he played sparingly — first with the Dallas Mavericks and New Orleans Pelicans in his rookie season, and then the first half of the 2017-18 season with the Golden State Warriors.
Then the defending champions needed him.
“When Steph [Curry] went out the year we won it, I finished the last 20 games starting and think I averaged like 18 points or something,” Cook said. “Just to play at a high level, I got to play in the playoffs at a high level and contribute. That just did a lot for my confidence. Obviously this year I had some good showings in the playoffs and I had a pretty good season.”
Cook was a restricted free agent at the start of free agency. When the Warriors extended a qualifying offer to him, he felt comfortable in thinking he’d have a home there no matter what happened. Cook said he drew interest from seven teams but none made him an offer.
After the Warriors made a deal to trade for former Brooklyn Nets point guard D’Angelo Russell, Golden State rescinded its qualifying offer to Cook.
“I had some teams reach out and the Lakers thing came about and it was just perfect,” Cook said. “Our talks went great, everything went how it was supposed to and we got it done.”
It was a fortuitous turn in some ways. Cook grew up a Lakers fan, raised by a father who loved the Showtime era.
“When I was born that’s really all I knew,” Cook said. “When I grew up I started to really watch and understand basketball, that’s when the Lakers were winning. It was definitely a great time to be a fan.
“Obviously I was all the way in D.C. but I was obsessed with the Lakers and I felt that my dad really instilled in me. I had a fun childhood rooting for the Lakers.”
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