The Golden State Warriors have made point guard Quinn Cook a restricted free agent. Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported on Saturday morning that Golden State extended the qualifying offer to the young point guard, thus keeping him under team control.
Golden State extending a qualifying offer to Quinn Cook and the guard will become a restricted free agent, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) June 29, 2019
Cook can accept the qualifying offer - a one-year, $1.9 million contract - but it’s more likely that he will reject it, and elect to enter free agency. But because the Warriors extended the offer in the first place, that free agency will be restricted.
The fourth-year point guard is free to field contract offers from other teams, but they have to be at least two years in length. He can sign an offer sheet with any team, but the Warriors will have the right to match the contract.
Cook joined the Warriors on a two-way contract for the 2017-18 season. He played very well when thrust into a role following an injury to Steph Curry. Between his good play and his fit in the locker room, the veterans on the team advocated for Golden State to guarantee his contract, which would allow him to make the postseason roster.
The Warriors subsequently cut Omri Casspi and offered Cook a two-year contract shortly before the end of the regular season. That contract kept him on the team through last year.
Where Cook goes could be dictated by the movement of Warriors free agent Kevin Durant, as the two players are very close friends. Whichever team signs Durant will likely be interested in Cook, and the Warriors will have the ability to re-sign the Duke product if Durant elects to return to the Bay Area.
If Durant heads somewhere else, it remains to be seen how much interest the team has in Cook. On the one hand, he has greatly exceeded the expectations Golden State had for him when they signed him to a two-way contract. On the other, he could field a nice offer from another team that Golden State doesn’t want to match, or the Warriors could find a veteran point guard in free agency that they prefer.
Coach Steve Kerr has also said that he expects second-year guard Jacob Evans III to primarily play point guard this year, so that could impact the team’s thinking as well.