Photo: Scott Strazzante / The Chronicle
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Quinn Cook was a happy camper when the Warriors offered him a $1.9 million qualifying offer on June 29, making him a restricted free agent.
The backup point guard had just finished his best season in the NBA, averaging 7.7 points per game and shooting 41.8 percent from the arc. He was one of the first bench players Steve Kerr turned to when he needed to give the Splash Brothers a breather.
With Klay Thompson out for months recovering from an ACL tear, Cook figured to get more playing time in 2019-20.
“Obviously, being a restricted free agent is different, so I really didn’t know what to expect,” Cook said Thursday in a conference call, according to Harrison Faigen of SB Nation. “I felt that Golden State would want me back, just for what I’ve done the past few years. And when they gave me my qualifying offer, it definitely felt good just to know I’d have a job next year.”
But then this summer’s crazy NBA free agency maneuvering got in the way. The Warriors, desperate to get something for the departing Kevin Durant, agreed to swap him for D’Angelo Russell in a complicated sign-and-trade deal with the Brooklyn Nets. That pushed Golden State up against the NBA’s $138.9 million “hard cap” salary limit.
Here was Cook’s full quote on his free agency saga pic.twitter.com/AWKRrQG5uV
— Harrison Faigen (@hmfaigen) July 11, 2019
The Warriors needed salary space. Suddenly Cook became expendable.
“I was ready to sign my qualifying offer back with Golden State, and they withdrew it,” Cook said during the conference call.
As NBC Sports explains, the Warriors could have still brought back Cook on a minimum contract (or even slightly above that). But they decided to sign Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III instead.
It all worked out for Cook, however. He found a home with the Los Angeles Lakers for $3 million per year ($1 million guaranteed in 2020-21) where he will be reunited with his old Cavs teammate LeBron James, who reportedly lobbied the Lakers front office to get Cook.
“He brings the best out of everybody,” Cook said of King James in the Orange County Register. “And I know I saw that with my team with him in Cleveland for a little bit. He made me such a better player in two months, and to have a full season with him, I can only imagine the type of player I’ll become in this season.”
Mike Moffitt is an SFGATE Digital Reporter. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/warriors/article/Quinn-Cook-Warriors-Lakers-rescinded-offer-14091248.php.