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Lakers waive Quinn Cook, open additional roster spot

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The Lakers have two open roster spots after waiving Quinn Cook.

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Brooklyn Nets v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers have decided to waive Quinn Cook ahead of the deadline for teams to guarantee non-guaranteed contracts, according to a report from Shams Charania of The Athletic on Monday. Cook signed a non-guaranteed contract with the Lakers in December.

Cook hasn’t been much of a factor for the Lakers this season, playing just 62 minutes in the 16 games that he’s appeared in, but it wasn’t unreasonable to think they might have guaranteed his contract in spite of that. Since last season, the Lakers have emphasized the importance of team chemistry and Cook is as good as it gets when it comes to positive presences in the locker room.

However, due to the relative unknown status of Anthony Davis, who is expected to be out at least a month due to a calf strain and re-aggravated Achilles tendinosis, the front office may have seen a unique opportunity to improve their roster.

If the Lakers fully guaranteed Cook’s contract, they would have only been able to sign one player to the pro-rated veteran’s minimum after Feb. 24. Now, they can sign two, and they’ve already been linked to one player: DeMarcus Cousins, who was on last year’s team.

Waiving Cook also gives the Lakers some financial flexibility in trades. On Saturday, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that the Lakers have been “active” in trade discussions and mentioned Houston Rockets forward P.J. Tucker as someone they’ve inquired about.

As for Cook, it’s hard to imagine he’ll be a free agent for long. He’s generally regarded as one of the most well-liked players in the league and rightfully so. He brought a positive energy to a team that needed it at various points last season and seemed to revel being a Laker. He’ll be missed even if it won’t show on the court.

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