Despite a great showing out of the bench in last night’s win against the Mavs, the 76ers still have holes to address in their second-unit. While it may not be the big splash of adding Kyle Lowry, adding a floor-general to add the second unit could go a far way in minimizing the drop-off when the Sixers’ starters are taking a rest.
There are many veterans who could serve this role, but Quinn Cook is a guy who recently became available and would fit the Sixers’ needs. After being released by the Lakers, Cook will soon have his choice of what team to sign with, meaning the 76ers would just have to release someone in order to free up a roster space. This is a small price to pay for a guy who could make a serious impact on the team.
Who is Quinn Cook?
In the 181 games Quinn Cook has played in his NBA career, he’s averaged 6.4 points, 1.7 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and has shot 40.7% from the three-point arc. Cook’s impact lies far beyond the numbers as he is a two-time NBA champion and is spoken of extremely highly by all of his teammates.
Quinn Cook first made a name for himself in his time at Duke. In what has become a rare sight for NBA players, Cook spent all 4 years at Duke before declaring for the NBA Draft.
The Washington DC native had his best season in 2015, his senior year at Duke. In this season, Cook averaged 15.3 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 2.6 assists. As the captain of the team, he took the team full of young NBA prospects (such as Jahlil Okafor, Tyus Jones, Justice Winslow, and Grayson Allen) and led them to a national championship.
Despite this great season, Cook went undrafted and bounced between the G-League and a few 10-day contract opportunities for the beginning of his professional career. He finally landed a deal with the Golden State Warriors where he was given a real opportunity at beginning his NBA career.
Cook became a key piece of the Warriors bench and even had a stat line of 5 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and a block in his playoff debut against the Spurs. The Warriors went on to win the championship this year and Cook collected his first NBA ring.
After 2 years with the Warriors, Cook signed a deal with the Lakers to play a similar bench role. He had a fairly successful season with the team last year as the Lakers went on to win a ring themselves.
Due to the guard depth the Lakers have this season, the team chose to release Cook in order to free top a roster spot. Cook will clear waivers at 5 pm today (Feb 26th), making him free to sign with any team.
What Would Quinn Cook Bring to the 76ers?
The 76ers have a glaring need for a back-up point guard. Ben Simmons has done a great job running the offense this year as he has seems to have taken a stride in developing his feel for the game this year.
As great as he has been, it makes the drop-off when he is not on the court so much more noticeable. This has been seen in games like the Trail Blazers matchup where Simmons was unable to play and is a large reason why the 76ers have had such a decrease in production when the starters take the bench.
Tyrese Maxey is currently the purest point guard on the bench, but Doc Rivers does not seem to have enough faith in him as he has fallen out of the rotation. Shake Milton has been a necessary spark since returning from injury, but he will always be a score-first player, and forcing him into the role of a facilitator does not maximize his ability.
Cook is not going to be a guy who lights up the box score on a nightly basis. But he is exactly what the Sixers need in terms of forming a cohesive unit.
Standing at 6’1 and still only 27 years old, Cook has a lot more experience than one might think. He knows his role as a guy off the bench and has been proven to play a hand in running this unit.
With a national championship and 2 NBA titles under his belt, Cook also carries with him the “championship mindset,” that many of the Sixers have talked so much about. Bringing in Dwight Howard and Danny Green proved the emphasis on guys who know how to win, and Cook would be another great name to this list.
It is quite possible that there is a bigger point guard move in the works which would make the signing of Quinn Cook unnecessary. But as the roster currently stands, he would make an immediate and necessary impact.
Risking little to add a player who knows his role and could play legitimate bench minutes seems like a no-brainer. Simply releasing a guy on the bottom of the roster (sorry Vincent Poirier) would make this possible and is a move that should be watched out for. Work your magic Daryl Morey.
Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire)