The New Orleans Pelicans waived Quinn Cook and Axel Toupane earlier today. Both players were due additional guarantees on July 25th on their contracts — Cook a total of $100K and Toupane $200K per Bobby Marks.
The announcement regarding Toupane was largely expected, but Cook’s came as a surprise to many as he was one of the standouts in the 2017 Las Vegas Summer League Tournament.
NOLA waived Quinn Cook. In Vegas, he put up 21.2 PPG, 4.8 APG, 3.6 RPG, 1.2 SPG. He shot 55.7 FG%, 50 3PT%, 90 FT%. He belongs in the NBA.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) July 25, 2017
On the one hand, this news is understandable because the New Orleans Pelicans sit dangerously close to the luxury tax line and Cook would have likely ended up at best as the team’s third point guard — thus rarely seeing any game action. On the other, the team is top heavy with a number of large salaries, so it’s high time that some of their roster spots start being filled by talent developed by the team’s coaching staff. And hey, Cook can shoot!
That said, the Pelicans are taking a chance on a somewhat unknown — Darius Miller — and he might become a vital component off the bench thanks to his reputation as a deadly perimeter shooter in Europe. Travis Tate, today’s guest on The Bird Calls, opines it makes more sense for the team to gamble on a wing with vastly more experience than Cook. In case you missed it, Scott Kushner did mention the glut of guards on the team might have led to Cook’s dismissal.
League source says Cook was squeezed out by numbers. Adding Rajon Rondo gave #Pelicans 5 guards: Holiday, Rondo, Moore, Crawford, Jackson.— Scott Kushner (@ScottDKushner) July 25, 2017
Travis and Preston dedicated the second half of the podcast to the expectations for next season. How will Jrue Holiday fare at shooting guard? Can the Rajon Rondo experiment work? How should Alvin Gentry stagger the rotations? Can Anthony Davis’ presence keep DeMarcus Cousins and Rondo in check for most of the season?
For all of the elite players switching teams this summer as well as those still awaiting changes of address (Carmelo Anthony, Kyrie Irving), one huge feather in the Pelicans’ cap has been the solidarity expressed by the team’s stars. Most of the personnel have been linked to offseason workouts, but there might not be a better story that that of Boogie and The Brow spending a lot of time together.
Good thing because it’s sure looking like New Orleans best chance to make waves next season in the Western Conference will have to stem from improvement within!