Can Quinn Cook be the next Ian Clark?


Quinn Cook entered the 2015 NBA Draft with quite an impressive résumé. After being named to the McDonald's All-American team, Cook signed with the Duke Blue Devils. He steadily climbed up the depth chart during his four-year college career, which ended with a second-team All-American selection and an NCAA championship in his senior season. Despite his strong pedigree, Cook went undrafted in 2015.

After two successful years in the D-League-including two All-Star selections, the 2016 D-League Rookie of the Year, and a D-League First Team selection in 2017--Cook made his NBA debut with the Dallas Mavericks on a 10-day deal. Cook did not get a second 10-day deal with Dallas, but he got two 10-day deals with the New Orleans Pelicans and finished the season on their roster. However, the Pelicans cut him on July 25th. Cook signed with the Atlanta Hawks in the preseason but was one of their last cuts. Four days after the Hawks let him go, Cook signed a two-way deal with the Golden State Warriors.

Cook's path to the NBA might have taken longer than he anticipated, and his NBA future is still in question. However, his brief stint in Golden State thus far indicates that he is a great fit for the Warriors. While he is more of a pure point guard, Cook's game is quite reminiscent of Ian Clark's previous role as a sweet shooting off-ball point guard. Although Cook's future in Golden State is by no means guaranteed, his skill set makes him an ideal candidate for the end of the Warriors' bench.

Offensive Versatility, Defensive Grit

Quinn Cook could not shoot during his rookie year at Duke. He only made 25% of his shots from beyond the arc; while his lack of volume from deep indicates that his poor shooting may have been a sample size issue, his lack of range was certainly an issue.

After that rough freshman campaign, Quinn's shooting turned around in dramatic fashion. He knocked down 38.7% of his triples during his final three years of college on a healthy sample size of 573 attempts. He quickly transitioned to knocking down shots from the NBA line--Cook has converted on 38.1% of his 556 three-point attempts in the G-League.

Cook's high basketball IQ, great passing vision, and ability to space the floor off the ball make him a nearly ideal fit with Shaun Livingston--just as Ian Clark was before him. Opposing defenses have to ignore him given the rest of the Warriors' lineup, but Cook instinctively finds holes in the defense with or without the ball in his hands:

Quinn Cook's biggest weakness is his lack of athleticism. While his effort is hard to question, his lateral quickness (or relative lack thereof) make it easy to exploit him on the defensive end. Cook plays bigger than his 6'2" size, but he will always be too slow to guard most point guards and too small to guard most shooting guards.

While Cook's weaknesses led to him going undrafted, those weaknesses are not as important in Golden State. Cook can guard point guards and play off-ball when he plays with Livingston and can run the offense with Livingston on the bench. Quinn can space the floor when playing with mixed lineups of starters and bench players but can run the pick-and-roll when needed. More importantly, his high basketball IQ and solid passing can more than makeup for those weaknesses when he's playing for Golden State.

Quinn Cook might be on a two-way contract now, but his game is an excellent fit for what the Golden State Warriors need in a bench guard. He will probably never be a consistent starter, but he has all the skills necessary to be the team's fourth guard. If Cook can maintain his solid play from his first eight games in a Golden State Warriors uniform, he may have a bright future in the Bay.

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