2015 NBA Draft: Could Clippers steal Duke PG Quinn Cook?


Apr 6, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Duke Blue Devils guard Quinn Cook carries the national championship trophy after defeating the Wisconsin Badgers in the 2015 NCAA Men

The Los Angeles Clippers’ focus on entering the 2015 NBA Draft continues to increase. They worked out six new prospects on Monday, and now they’re also set to add Duke point guard Quinn Cook to the mix.

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Before they can make anything happen in the 2015 NBA Draft, though, the Clippers obviously need to acquire a pick first. And with the amount of interest they’ve shown in working out numerous prospects, it looks like they’ll try and make a trade for a pick in the second round. Or, if that fails, they can use the knowledge they’ve gained from their rookie workouts to pick up anyone who may go undrafted.

It’s unclear whether the Clippers’ primary intention will be to target a guard or forward at this stage, but adding a point guard to work alongside Austin Rivers on the bench would be a perfectly sound choice.

And in regards to Quinn Cook, he’s only projected to be a second round prospect at best, with several mocks (for example, three by CBSSports) for the 2015 NBA Draft even forecasting that he may not be selected at all. Which, for the pick-less Clippers, gives them an opportunity to sign a player who offers depth, efficiency, shooting ability, and the experience of winning the NCAA Championship.

Last year, Cook was a key part of Duke’s imposing team as he played 35.8 minutes a game for the entire season. On top of that, he averaged 15.3 points on 45.3 percent shooting, 3.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1 steal, 39.5 percent shooting from three point range whilst making 89.1 percent of his free throws.

Apr 6, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Duke Blue Devils guard Quinn Cook (2) celebrates as Duke defeats Wisconsin Badgers 68-63 in the 2015 NCAA Men

In comparison to his fellow Atlantic Coast Conference players last year, Cook put on a stellar performance that could make him a real steal if the Clippers have any chance of snatching him up late in the draft, or even in free agency afterwards. In the ACC, Cook finished the season ranked 5th for total points scored (544) and led the entire Conference in free throw percentage, three point percentage, and offensive rating (129.6). And if that wasn’t enough, he even ranked 2nd in total win shares (6.8).

That being said, whilst Quinn Cook may offer the kind of efficiency that players such as Austin Rivers and Jamal Crawford lack at times, the Clippers are in greater need of an additional backup big. That may come through either Paul Pierce’s ability to play at small forward and as a stretch four, or by the possible acquisition of other free agent forwards such as Lavoy Allen and Richard Jefferson — both of whom could potentially be signed on veteran’s minimum contracts.

There is, of course, no certainty that the Clippers will be able to land a second round pick yet, or that they will be able (or even decide) to sign Quinn Cook if he becomes an undrafted free agent. However, if they can’t find a backup big man to secure the bottom of their front court rotation, Cook looks like a valuable asset that could give the Clippers a very solid option to fit into their rather shallow backcourt.

Next: Clippers' focus on the NBA Draft shows their evolving mindset