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Can He Make The Cut? Quinn Cook and the New Orleans Pelicans

In a new series, contributor Nicholas LeTourneau takes a look at if reigning D-League Rookie of the Year Quinn Cook can make the final roster in New Orleans.

NBA: Preseason-Memphis Grizzlies at Cleveland Cavaliers Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

2015-2016 was an exciting and interesting year for Quinn Cook. After being one of the catalysts behind Duke’s National Championship run, he wasn’t picked in the 2015 NBA Draft. Soon after signing with the Cleveland Cavaliers, he was waived by the team and acquired by the Cavs D-League affiliate, the Canton Charge.

Last year with the Charge, Cook put on a show. Standing at 6’0”, the dynamic, scoring point guard averaged 19.6 points, 3.9 rebounds, 5.4 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. He excels in three point shooting and driving the lane. In addition to that, he is also an above-average facilitator.

Cook was consistently good last year. He shot a reliable 46.6 percent from the floor, 38.2 percent from deep, and 86.3 from the free throw line. Whenever the team needed a basket, Cook was the answer. By the time the season was over, Cook was named Rookie of the Year, D-League All Star, and All-NBADL Third team.

After an incredible year like that, people are going to be expecting more from him going forward. Following a Summer League with the D-League Select team, Cook has signed a non-guaranteed deal with the New Orleans Pelicans and has training camp to prove he belongs in the NBA.

There is no question Cook can play, the litany of awards he received in the D-League last season are proof of that. But with so many talented player and guaranteed contracts already on the books, it seems unlikely that he will make the final roster in New Orleans.

Going into training camp, the roster is loaded with good guard talent and guaranteed contracts. The roster is already loaded with Jrue Holiday, Langston Galloway, E’twaun Moore, Tim Frazier, Tyreke Evans, Lance Stephenson, and Buddy Hield at the two guard spots alone. Cook is a good young player, but head coach Alvin Gentry really doesn't have a need for Cook at this point.

In addition to how full the roster is, there are some things to be concerned about in regards to Cook’s game. For starters, standing at 6’0” limits him to playing only one position. He can’t guard any position outside of point guard, and even then he is going to be undersized. With the recent trend around the league of trying to find tall, wiry point guards, Cook is the opposite of that.

His height is also a liability on the offensive end too. His game is mostly three pointers and driving the lane. He is going to struggle against NBA level and sized defenses when driving the lane. This was apparent in Summer League.

In five games played, Cook averaged 6.2 points, 1.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists while shooting 27.8 percent from the floor and 28.6 percent from deep. Length, size, and strength are all things that can disrupt his game. Once you take the scoring away from what he contributes, there isn't much left unfortunately.

The chances that Cook makes this roster are slim to none. The only scenario that could keep him in New Orleans would be injuries. With Holiday missing the start of the season and Evans not 100 percent healthy, this leaves former D-League MVP Tim Frazier as the team’s starting point guard on opening day. If something were to happen to him, maybe the team somehow keeps Cook. But even then, there are just too many contracts and too many other positions that need shoring up on this roster outside of point guard.