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Quinn Cook reportedly signed a non-guaranteed training camp contract to return to the Lakers

Quinn Cook will be a playing for his contract in training camp.

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2020 NBA Finals - Los Angeles Lakers v Miami Heat Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

Last year, Quinn Cook signed a two-year, $6 million contract with the Lakers with the hope that he’d be able to crack Frank Vogel’s rotation. Unfortunately for Cook, that never happened and his non-guaranteed salary for the 2020-21 season was waived last month.

Upon clearing waivers, Cook re-signed with the Lakers, but under much different circumstances. According to a report from Keith Smith of Real GM, Cook’s contract is a non-guaranteed training camp deal, meaning his contract doesn’t currently count against the cap.

In theory, that means the Lakers can sign another veteran player to a training camp deal, but it doesn’t mean that they’ll be able to go into the season with a full, 17-man roster (including their pair of two-way contracts).

Even though Cook’s contract won’t become fully-guaranteed until February, he will still have a cap hold if he makes it past training camp. Because the Lakers are operating under the hard cap, they don’t have room for a 15th cap hold, not even for the veteran’s minimum.

In layman’s terms, if the Lakers signed another veteran player like DeWayne Dedmon to a non-guaranteed training camp deal, he would compete with Cook for the final roster spot. As interesting as that would be, I’d argue it’s unlikely because the Lakers have already started practicing, and their first preseason game is on Friday.

What this deal actually does is give the Lakers flexibility to add another player or two later on in the season, as Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype explains below:

Cool will work to show that he’s not expendable in training camp and — assuming he makes the final cut, in the regular season — but ultimately the Lakers are going to do whatever it takes to put themselves in a position to repeat, and the tactical construction of Cook’s construction reflects that. Chalk this up as another savvy move by Rob Pelinka.

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