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Cook makes convincing case to stay with Warriors into postseason

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Quinn Cook has had to shoulder the scoring load lately, and the Warriors should consider keeping him around for the playoffs. (Jacob C. Palmer/S.F. Examiner)

The members of the Golden State Warriors medical staff have certainly earned their salaries lately.

Draymond Green — who already had a throbbing right shoulder — had to exit Monday night’s game against the San Antonio Spurs with a pelvic contusion thanks to Danny Green’s knees. Yes, if the tables were turned, we’d no doubt be discussing Green’s actions again. Instead, were left to talk about the Warriors being without any of their four All-Stars.

But there’s no need to worry. Stephen Curry has been cleared to participate in full-contact practices with the expectation being a return Friday against the Atlanta Hawks. And if the NBA playoffs started tomorrow, Green would be ready to go.

With Klay Thompson on track to return in early April with the hope that Kevin Durant won’t be too far behind, I refuse to be overly concerned about Golden State.

If the Dubs want to pursue the cautious route and hold Curry and Green out of the active lineup this weekend, I’d be totally cool with that. Solely because there’s now a competition brewing for the 15th spot on the roster. It’s Quinn Cook’s fault. But we should also thank him for giving us a somewhat interesting storyline this March.

Cook — who balled out in the G-League, averaging 24.7 points, 8 assists, and 4.7 assists — has scored 20-plus in three straight games (on 29-of-48 shooting) and has developed trust with Kerr and the coaching staff.

He lit up the Phoenix Suns last Saturday, scoring 28 points — the highest point total by any two-way player this year.

The Warriors will have until April 10 to decide what they want to do with Cook: Place him on the playoff roster, which requires making a difficult decision like cutting Omri Casspi, or go without him in the postseason.

I’m leaning toward Cook being a better fit going forward. Nick Young, who definitely produces moments of frustration for Warriors fans, won’t be going anywhere because he’s the only consistent 3-point threat on the bench.

The team isn’t ready to say goodbye to Damian Jones, either. Golden State exercised its third-year contract option on the center earlier this season, meaning he’ll be here for the 2018-19 NBA season.

And it’s no secret that Casspi has struggled for most of the calendar year due to a balky back, and if he isn’t able to shake an ankle sprain in time, Cook is capable of making the decision easy for the front office, especially when you take into account Curry missing 21 games due to tweaks and sprains to his ankle.

Having a third point guard should take priority unless Durant’s rib fracture keeps him out longer than expected.

A decision for the Warriors is looming. But if they had to make it today, it’d be a pretty easy one.

Bonta Hill of 95.7 The Game can be heard from 12-3 on the Greg Papa Show. Born and bred in San Francisco, he is a sports junkie who loves to sit in the lab (home), eats breakfast food for dinner, and has a newfound love for tequila. Follow at your own risk on Twitter @BontaHill.

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