Ironically, the Pistons are able to sign Cook thanks to the roster spot opened up by the buyout of Blake Griffin, who eventually signed with those same Nets.
In reality, it is just another day of Troy Weaver taking a flyer on a player he’s familiar with from his previous post with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Days after trading for former Thunder forward Hamidou Diallo, Weaver is taking a look at a player who played eight games last season with the Oklahoma City Blue of the G League.
Cook is just 6-foot-8 but is mostly viewed as a small-ball center with some playmaking and efficiency to his game.
He lit up the Long Island Nets for 31 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and two blocks in the G League earlier this season, and averaged 20.8 points, 9.6 rebounds and 4.4 assists in the G League bubble.
The short version of his possibility of success in the NBA seems to be he’s a forward with zero range so he’s hoping to stick as an athletic, facilitating center. Considering how Dwane Casey likes to use his big men, he might find things to like in Cook.
The Pistons are relatively thin at the center position with Griffin gone and the injury to Jahlil Okafor. Mason Plumlee and Isaiah Stewart split minutes at the position, but both can find themselves in foul trouble and it leaves Detroit with little depth other than Sekou Doumbouya who is a big man only in theory.
Whether this is a placeholder while Okafor continues his recovery or a legitimate look at someone who the team is interested in signing for the rest of the season remains to be seen. Okafor had surgery on Feb. 10. That means he could still be a month out from seeing the floor again.
The NBA trade deadline is also less than 10 days away and could alter the look of the roster and Weaver might have wanted to get ahead of making sure he had the necessary depth at a core position.