If this were a dating relationship, Bulls fans would find themselves in the still-feeling-it-out stage with the team’s most recent addition, Daequan Cook.
It’s time to start getting better acquainted with Cook’s game and a clearer picture of what the 25-year-old’s role in Coach Tom Thibodeau’s rotation will look like moving forward.
Cook didn’t play in a thrilling overtime victory over the Raptors at the Air Canada Centre, but we have caught a glimpse of what he’ll bring in his short run with the team so far.
The 5-year pro has taken six shots in three games played with the Bulls, all 3-point attempts. Fans should get used to this bombs-away style as the former Ohio State Buckeye is considered a weak ball-handler and rarely goes to the rim.
John Hollinger, formerly of ESPN.com, pegs the six-foot-five inch guard as being equipped with a “strong catch-and-shoot game.”
While he isn’t considered a rebounder, Cook grades out as both a solid athlete and defender.
The former MIA, OKC and HOU wing has averaged a passable but not spectacular 36.4% from 3 in his career. Last season’s 34.6% mark was a little below average, especially when over three-quarters of his shots were taken from behind the arc (per Hollinger). His best season came in 2010-2011 as a member of the Thunder, when Cook averaged 42.2% from distance.
Safe to say the Bulls front office would be pleased as punch if Cook returned to that kind of hair-splitting accuracy.
With Derrick Rose coming back and a backcourt rotation somewhat entrenched, minutes could be few and far between this season. Especially with Thibs tendency to stay loyal to veterans and longest tenured players.
That said, veterans on this team like Kirk Hinrich and Rip Hamilton have had a very difficult time staying healthy all year.
“[Cook] has to learn, get ready, and you never know over a course of a season; you need everybody.”
Whether Cook’s thrust onto the court due to injury, or he can quickly get assimilated to the Bulls hard-nosed, share-the-ball style of play, he very well may be able to carve out some quality minutes as the season progresses.
With Hamilton’s $5 million team option not expected to be picked up next season, Cook, currently making $512,633 and a free agent this summer, also figures to be auditioning as to be a cheaper alternative to Rip moving forward.
Adam Jun covers the Chicago Bulls for Skyword, Inc. a search-driven media website.
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