Cook joins, Danny Green, JaVale McGee and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in signing with the Lakers after the Los Angeles Clippers acquired Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. The Lakers got their supporting cast all wrong last season, but have made smarter moves this time round, and Cook is another key part of that.
With $32 million of cap space available, that was previously left open in case Leonard wanted to join LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Lakers had freedom to move rapidly on Saturday. LeBron, Davis and Kyle Kuzma were their core trio, and Frank Vogel now has a solid rotation.
Cook, who shot 40.5% from three-point range last season, has been coming off the bench for the Golden State Warriors the last two seasons. He’ll get minutes at point guard next season, but will often be spotting up in the corner for catch-and-shoot jumper opportunities along with fellow Saturday signings Caldwell-Pope and Green.
This trio of signings – which includes retaining Caldwell-Pope – shows a shift from what the Lakers did last summer. Perimeter shooters (ideally who can defend a bit) are the formula for success with LeBron. The Lakers moved away from it last season and the results were underwhelming.
In Cook, Caldwell-Pope and Green, they are surrounding LeBron and Davis with the sort of players that provide floor spacing and will knock down the open jump shots.
Cook on a $3 million a year is a bargain. While there was possibly an overpay for McGee, and Green wasn’t cheap, that’s a great price for a player that has consistently knocked down threes throughout his career.
The Lakers could yet add more shooting through veteran minimum deals. LeBron’s former teammate Kyle Korver, who Adrian Wojnarowski recently linked with the Lakers, Sixers and Bucks, will be a target if/when he’s bought out.