The Cleveland Cavaliers have not had the likes of Matthew Dellavedova this season to this point, due to him still working his way back into game shape from a serious concussion.
And though he stated while a prior report from The Athletic‘s Kelsey Russo and Joe Vardon (subscription required) indicated that because of symptoms previously related to that, and with him having a concussion history, he may end up having to, retirement is not “at all” on Delly’s mind currently.
He then seemed well on his way back, and still feasibly is, as Delly had been working out individually (albeit not in team practice reps), but the veteran did recently have to have his appendix removed on Saturday.
Per a Cavs status update then, Dellavedova was then in recovery after surgery; the rough luck for Dellavedova continued with that sort of thing, though, and while this isn’t serious, realistically, we again haven’t seen Delly in game action yet. His timetable is uncertain at this juncture, anyhow.
Nonetheless, even with the Cavaliers having gotten solid play/playmaking from Darius Garland, with Garland and company not having the capabilties of Kevin Love for almost the whole season so far also (high-grade right calf strain/aggravation), Cleveland could use a backup 1.
With Delly sidelined, and a key playmaking presence in Larry Nance Jr. (fractured left hand) still seemingly out for through most of March, Garland could use some help in spurts.
In that realm, a serviceable free agency target would seem to be the likes of Quinn Cook, who was reportedly waived recently by the Los Angeles Lakers, per Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium. Charania noted how this would enable LA to “play the buyout market.”
Cook would be a sensible backup point guard signing by the Cavs.
Cook, who is in his fifth NBA season, is not a guy that would be playing big minutes, clearly, but he could give Garland some of a lift. As a rookie in 2016-17, Cook appeared in short stints with the Dallas Mavericks and New Orleans Pelicans, but in relation to a Cavs connection, was on Cleveland’s G League affiliate in 2015-16, with the Canton Charge, and then the following season with them.
He had averages of 19.6 points and 5.4 assists in his first season with the Charge, then 26.0 points and 6.7 assists per outing in 2016-17, too, and clearly was quite the contributor for them in those days.
Anyhow, from there, Cook has been a bench contributor for the Golden State Warriors in two seasons, the first of which he had 9.5 points and 2.7 assists per outing in 33 appearances, with the 2018-19 season him then having 6.9 points in 14.3 minutes in 74 appearances.
Cook was then a spot minutes/appearance player with the Los Angeles Lakers last season, albeit did have a decent 5.1 points per outing in 11.5 minutes per game. This season, he hadn’t played much at all.
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All of that said, Cook, in more of a legitimate role with the Cavaliers could be a meaningful contributor as a backup point guard that can help Cleveland’s playmaking efforts in some spurts with Garland taking a breather. And that could aid guys like Collin Sexton somewhat, to go with Isaac Okoro/Cedi Osman.
Cook is also a capable pick-and-roll scorer via pull-ups, perhaps in instances with Jarrett Allen or his former Warriors teammate in JaVale McGee, and as a spot-up player via ball-swings, could help from a spacing standpoint.
Although he of course benefited from Warriors spacing a few years back and/or had some nice looks from LeBron James with the Lakers, Cook, all things considered, has hit 40.7 percent of his career three-point attempts.
That in 12-14 or so minutes per game could really aid the Cavaliers, who as we know, are largely limited when it comes to spacing, and even more so without Love currently, along with Taurean Prince in the past few games (left ankle soreness).
In relation to roster numbers, if Cleveland were to waive Dean Wade he becomes guaranteed soon, that’d be seemingly a corresponding move if the Cavs were to pick up Cook via waivers.
Even if that’s not the case, though, Wade being potentially waived within the next week or so would seem fairly reasonable if the Cavs were to sign Cook, as Wade’s set to make $1.5 million if he’s not waived by his guarantee date. I’d imagine Cook would be signed via two-year, minimum deal, with perhaps him having next season’s non-guaranteed.
That sort of thing, for example, would help the Cavaliers in the mean time, in particular, with the uncertainty with Dellavedova for one and even the season, generally, and could still enable the Cavs to have more flexibility in potential Andre Drummond-centric trades. Wade hasn’t been in the rotation much lately, either.
We’ll have to see regarding the 27-year-old Cook/the Cavs, but he’d be a sensible backup point guard signing, and has reportedly been a great locker room presence. I’d think he could help the Cavaliers young guys from that sort of standpoint as a two-time NBA champ, too.