The Warriors say Stephen Curry will miss the first round of the playoffs.
Enter Quinn Cook.
In 12 games starting for Curry over the last month, Cook is averaging 16 points and four assists per game while shooting 57% on 2-pointers, 47% on 3-pointers and 88% on free throws. Cook’s ability to serve as a starting-caliber point guard on a stacked team has helped stabilize Golden State’s rotation amid a chaotic time with injuries.
But for Cook – who’s on a two-way contract – to be postseason eligible, the Warriors must get him on a standard contract.
In what will be the first deal of its kind, a two-year guaranteed pact is being ironed out and is expected to completed before the April 10 deadline in order for Cook to be playoff-eligible, sources tell ESPN.
The key word: guaranteed. The Warriors can offer only a minimum salary next season ($1,544,951). For most two-way players, an unguaranteed minimum salary would be a boon. That second guaranteed season, in addition to the small rest-of-season minimum Cook will get this year, is what makes this deal unprecedented.
But maybe Cook should have bet on getting more in restricted free agency this summer rather than locking in now. The 25-year-old has impressed with his steadiness.
By going this route, Cook will get a postseason roster spot on the championship favorite. He’ll also probably continue starting, even in the playoffs, as long as Curry is out. That high-profile role and a chance at a ring go a long way.
Another Warrior will miss out as a result. Golden State must waive someone to clear a roster spot for Cook. Omri Casspi appears most likely, because Damian Jones has a guaranteed salary for next season.