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Lakers News: Latest on Quinn Cook Contract Rumors, JaVale McGee's Farewell Post

Max MarcovitchContributor INovember 30, 2020

Los Angeles Lakers' Quinn Cook gestures from the court during the second half an NBA conference final playoff basketball game against the Denver Nuggets on Friday, Sept. 18, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

The NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers did much of their heavy lifting early in free agency, plucking Dennis Schroder from the Oklahoma City Thunder in a trade and signing Marc Gasol, Montrezl Harrell and Wesley Matthews to a team that is now the clear favorite to repeat.

But there are still final touches to be made before LeBron and Co. gear up for training camp. Despite previous reports, the Lakers will not be stretching Quinn Cook's $1 million owed salary, according to Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports.

Keith Smith @KeithSmithNBA

As part of their roster moves, the Los Angeles Lakers reversed course and did not end up stretching Quinn Cook's salary. Because of the JaVale McGee trade and subsequent waiver of Jordan Bell, LA was able to take the full hit for Cook at $1M for the 2020-21 season.

Los Angeles cut Cook ahead of free agency, as only $1 million of his $3 million was guaranteed this season, and despite prior belief the team would stretch that $1 million over three years, they will instead absorb the full $1 million into this year's cap. The Lakers evidently found a bit more cap space than expected and can keep that money on their books instead of pushing it down the line. Cook has yet to sign with another team.

It's a minor financial decision, part of cleaning up an offseason lauded by many as one of the most shrewd in the entire league.

As part of that offseason, Los Angeles parted ways with JaVale McGee in a trade that brought back Jordan Bell and Alfonzo McKinnie (though they are only keeping the latter). McGee took to Instagram recently to thank the organization, with whom McGee resurrected his reputation, starting 130 games in two seasons.

"I want to thank Rob Pelinka and Jeanie Buss for the opportunity to be the starting center of the world champion Lakers for the past two years," McGee wrote. "We set out [with] one goal in mind and accomplished it! I'm excited for this new journey [with] the Cavaliers and can't wait to bring the pedigree and caliber of play to the city of Cleveland that the fans will be proud of! Pierre 3Xs signing out."

Most will consider the Gasol and Harrell signings to be a clear upgrade at center, with McGee and Dwight Howard exiting. Together, Howard and McGee averaged 14.1 points and 13 rebounds per game, playing a vital role next to Anthony Davis.

McGee, whose 12-year NBA career has been more volatile than most, will now see whether he can expand those statistics with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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