The Los Angeles Lakers got an assist from their Northern California rivals this summer as they built their roster. The Golden State Warriors rescinded their qualifying offer for Quinn Cook as they made several moves to combat the departure of Kevin Durant. The decision made Cook an unrestricted free agent, setting him up for a move to his childhood favorite team.
Despite originally planning on being back with the Warriors, Cook says he holds no ill will towards them for their decision, something he insisted on to Mark Medina of the Mercury News:
“It was tough for me with how everything went down, but no hard feelings,” Cook said by phone Wednesday night. “We’re family forever and champions forever.
“I thought they wanted me back,” Cook said. “Me and my agent figured they would extend my qualifying offer. Once they did, you never know what happens.
“It was hard to process. I’ve never been through that before,” said Cook, 26. “It was my first restricted free agency go around. So I didn’t know what to expect.”
Cook also shared some insight into why he chose the Lakers out of the five teams who reached out to him after the Warriors’ decision became public, including Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka calling him a perfect fit in the backcourt:
Cook already had close relationships with James and Anthony Davis. Cook referred to Davis as “a brother;” they were teammates for a short time in New Orleans (2016-17). Cook referred to James as “my vet.” During Cook’s four years at Duke, James was a frequent guest of coach Mike Krzyzewski. Cook also was with James and the Cleveland Cavaliers during training camp in 2015. They stayed in touch since then.
“Any time over my career, he would make sure I was good, talking to me and giving me advice,” Cook said. “To have a guy like that in your corner who I can reach out to any time and gives me advice, it helps me at every stage of my career. It’s something I’ve never taken for granted. I’m looking forward to reuniting with him again.”
“We definitely will be able to compete for a championship,” Cook said. “That was the biggest thing. Just to keep learning and be around good players every day and keep getting better as a player. I’m just excited for the opportunity.”
It’s not clear if Cook will start for the Lakers but he should have a sizable role for a team that has most of its talent concentrated in the frontcourt. Add to that his relationship with the team’s biggest stars as well as playing alongside DeMarcus Cousins last year and it was likely an easy decision for the young point guard.
Now he will have the opportunity to step on the court and prove everyone wrong.