Western Conference Rival in Talks to Sign Former Lakers Champion

Quinn Cook, Los Angeles Lakers

Getty Quinn Cook, Los Angeles Lakers

While the Los Angeles Lakers have been busy trying to rebuild their roster, other teams around the league have also been adding strength in depth.

The Boston Celtics have added Malcolm Brogdon and Danilo Gallinari, the Atlanta Hawks added Dejounte Murray, and Minnesota Timberwolves shook the world with their blockbuster trade for Rudy Gobert – among a plethora of other deals.

Still, not every player has found a new home, and not every trade is approaching the finish line – we’re looking at you, Kyrie Irving. However, it does seem that former Lakers champion, Quinn Cook, is closing in on a new deal, one that would see him join a Los Angeles rival and remain in the Western Conference.

According to Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee, the Sacramento Kings are ‘one of multiple teams to show interest’ in the five-year veteran.

“A source with knowledge of the situation told The Sacramento Bee the Kings are one of several teams engaged in talks with Cook, who spent the end of the 2021-22 season with the Stockton Kings, Sacramento’s G League affiliate. Cook’s future was still uncertain Friday, but he could have a new home soon, the source said.

Cook, 29, has an interesting resume for a player who went undrafted out of Duke and bounced around the league on a series of short-term contracts over his first five NBA seasons. He was the second-leading scorer on an NCAA championship team, earned the NBA D-League Rookie of the Year award, and went on to win NBA championships with the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers,” Anderson wrote on July 23. 

Cook played 67 regular season games for the Lakers during his time with the team, averaging 4.5 points, one assist, and one rebound per game, while shooting 42.6% from the field and 37.8% from the perimeter. The Duke alumn also participated in six playoff games for the Purple and Gold, where he averaged 2.2 points, 0.2 assists, and 0.2 rebounds per game.

Lakers Big Three Hold Talks

While Cook was part of the Lakers’ 2020 championship-winning team, he was never considered to be a vital member of their rotation. However, another guard, who is currently on the roster and considered, by some, to be of the utmost importance is Russell Westbrook.

The superstar guard experienced a turbulent first season in Los Angeles and has found his name floated in endless trade rumors since the Lakers’ season ended in uninspiring fashion. However, according to a recent report by Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes, the Lakers ‘big three’ of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Westbrook have recently spoken to ensure they’re all on the same page heading into training camp.

“The Los Angeles Lakers’ Big 3 of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook huddled up on a phone conversation the first weekend of NBA Summer League in Las Vegas with each expressing their commitment to one another and vowing to make it work, league sources told Yahoo Sports,” Haynes reported. “While the uncertainty of Westbrook’s future with the Lakers remains, the conversation was organized to make sure all three were on the same page as long as they’re joined together in their pursuit of a championship, sources said,” Haynes wrote in his July 18 column.

Westbrook Parts Ways With Long-Time Agent

All of the rhetoric surrounding Westbrook’s future with the Lakers will certainly of left a sour taste in his mouth – most notably because LeBron has been vocal in his desire to reunite with Irving, and also because the front office hasn’t publicly stood by him.

As such, it’s fair to assume that Westbrook would be willing to depart Los Angeles this summer – something which was made increasingly evident when he cut ties with his long-time agent, Thad Foucher.

The disagreement was later made public when Foucher released a press statement via ESPN.

“My belief is that this type of transaction only serves to diminish Russell’s value and his best option is to stay with the Lakers, embrace the starting role and support that Darvin Ham publicly offered. Russell is a first-ballot Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame player and will prove that again before he is retired. Unfortunately, irreconcilable differences exist as to his best pathway forward and we are no longer working together. I wish Russell and his family the very best,” Foucher wrote on July 16.

So, while Westbrook is still on the Lakers roster, it would seem that all parties are looking for a way to end their time together.


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