— Ryan Gorcey (@RyanGorcey) July 2, 2019
SACRAMENTO — The Golden State Warriors have rescinded their qualifying offer to free agent Quinn Cook, making him an unrestricted free agent, according to a report by The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
The Warriors, because of their sign-and-trade to bring in D’Angelo Russell in exchange for Kevin Durant, are nearing what’s alled the NBA’s hard cap. They can spend no more than $139 million on actual contracts. Cook’s contract would have put them over that.
With 13 players currently under contract (12, if Golden State trades or waives Shaun Livingston, as expected)
Cook was a well-liked presence in the locker room, and he was exceptionally close to Durant, who will next play for the Brooklyn Nets, once he recovers from his torn Achilles. As backup shooting guard last season, Cook averaged 6.9 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 74 appearances (10 starts) while playing 14.3 minutes per game.
His exit does provide more opportunities for former No. 28 draft pick Jacob Evans, who has improved since being shifted over to more of a point guard role under G League coach Aaron Miles, who is coaching Golden State’s summer league entrant. Over the first two games of the California Classic, Evans has looked confident and competent with the ball in his hands. He’s become more vocal and has started to develop leadership attributes after a season that saw him go up and down between Golden State and G League Santa Cruz.
“I thought he was decisive, for the most part,” Miles said after Evans’ summer league debut. “He pulled up, attacked in transition. Organized and ran some stuff right for us, got us into our offense. Thought he did a good job offensively. Defensively, he could be a lot better. He knows that.”
Cook was not an elite defender, by any means — he was 88th out of 90 qualified point guards in ESPN’s defensive real plus-minus in 2018-19 — but the 26-year old is a career 41.8% shooter from three-point range. Evans’ shot was broken last year, and he worked with Willie Green to get it right.
“Willie was great, Willie was really great,” Evans said. “Just working on my game, and also my mindset, attacking and always being aggressive, putting myself in certain situations and positions where I could be a problem on the offensive end and defensive end.”
Through three summer league games at point guard, Evans is 12-of-24 from the field with 4.0 rebounds per game and three assists per game, averaging 11.7 points.