Lakers leave Duke basketball champ looking for new home

Duke basketball alum Quinn Cook (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball alum Quinn Cook (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) /

Duke basketball legend Quinn Cook is no longer with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Per a late Monday night tweet from Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Los Angeles Lakers are waiving Quinn Cook. Across his five NBA seasons after going undrafted in 2015 as a Duke basketball national champ, the 6-foot-1 point guard has been on two title teams — 2017-18 Golden State Warriors, 2019-20 Lakers — albeit primarily as a reserve.

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Charania explained the decision in a series of tweets, pointing out it had nothing to do with Cook the teammate and that the 27-year-old, who stayed all four seasons as a Blue Devil before turning pro, is likely to find a new home in the league:

“Teams are expected to express interest in Cook, who has served as a reliable guard and locker room voice…The Lakers valued Cook, but because of their hard-cap status, this gives the franchise flexibility to play the buyout market. Cook is in his fifth season and is a career 40.7 percent 3-point shooter — including averaging 9.5 points and 2.4 assists in 2017-18 for Golden State.”

Declining production from the Duke basketball product

Last season, although Quinn Cook again became a champion, he played in only six of the Lakers’ 21 playoff games after finishing the regular season with a few career-low averages: 5.1 points and 1.1 assists in 11.5 minutes per game.

This season, Cook’s second in Los Angeles and on a non-guaranteed contract this go-round, the D.C. native is on track to set career-lows across the board. If he doesn’t end up elsewhere this year, then his final 2020-21 averages will be 2.1 points, 0.3 rebounds, and 0.3 assists in 3.9 minutes per game after seeing action in only 16 outings for the Lakers (22-10).

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