The Lakers officially renounced Quinn Cook on Wednesday, which means the team now has two open spots on the roster and is far enough under the cap to add two players in the veteran’s minimum deals for the remainder of the season and the playoffs. Will the team do it? Almost certainly, but according to head coach Frank Vogel, nothing is necessarily imminent.
“We will always look for opportunities to improve our team, but nothing concrete at the moment,” Vogel said before the team’s loss to the Jazz.
Vogel was specifically asked about the possibility of the Lakers adding players on 10-day contracts, something the team could do to essentially check out some options on a rental before committing to signing them for the rest of the season. NBA teams can sign players to 10-day agreements twice during a season before they have to decide whether to let them go or sign them for the rest of the season.
However, a more likely option could be for the Lakers to wait until closer to the March 25 trade deadline, when they could try to make a deal, something they are rumored to be discussing, or try to sign players who are bought. immediately, or negotiated and waived. That would prevent the team from getting immediate help as they try to survive the absences of Dennis Schröder and Anthony Davis, but Schröder should be back for his next game, and Davis likely a bit after the All-Star break next week. They don’t necessarily need to plug the holes right away, and let’s face it: no available player right now is helping to make up for those absences, anyway. Sorry, Dion Waiters. The Lakers are better off waiting, even if this losing streak has sucked.
But if you want something more specific than all that, Vogel is not your guy. When pressed on the kinds of needs the Lakers could try to address with possible additions to their roster in broad strokes, he closed the question.
“We are only looking at the players that are available. I am not going to discuss any type of needs that we are discussing internally, ”said Vogel.
That’s totally understandable, because after all, the Lakers have no incentive to show their hand publicly. However, it does mean that we will be in the dark about his intentions for a while longer. That said, while it would be foolish to assume that Lakers fans will “be sure” of anything at this point, have you seen the social media and comment section on this site during your current losing streak? – They should at least be aware that the Lakers got rid of Cook because they want to improve. That was clear from hearing what Vogel had to say.
“We will definitely miss him. First of all, he is a great basketball player. We had depth at that position and that’s the only reason he wasn’t coming in, but I was very confident in his abilities, ”Vogel said of Cook. “And he’s a 10 out of 10 who culturally fits our group. He understands his role and needs guys like that. When you’re filling out a list, you need guys who are willing not to play but still ready to contribute when they call your number, and he exemplified that to the best of his ability.
“He did a great job for us and we certainly wish him well.”
But the Lakers didn’t say goodbye to a beloved teammate like the one you’ll find in the NBA because they’re happy with how they’re playing. They wished Cook the best because, despite all the commonplaces at Vogel’s, they want to improve their basketball team. Even if it’s still unclear how they will do it, at least they made it clear that they will try.
Because the reality is that Cook was an MVP of friendship. But as Kobe Bryant once said: “Friends can come and go, but banners hang forever.” It’s safe to say that his former agent and best friend, Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka, is well aware of that philosophy as he makes sure this team maximizes its chances of repeating.
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