My Christmas wish came true; the Chicago Bulls finally took advantage of their empty roster spot and signed Daequan Cook. Cook, who was drafted in 2007, has seen time on the court with the Miami Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder and has also spent time in the development league. Regardless of whom he has played for and when though, he still offers the Bulls exactly what they need.
What they needed was a player who was young and talented who could come off the bench and provide points much like former bench players CJ Watson and Ronnie Brewer were able to do and that is what they got.
Cook offers the Bulls -in particular Richard Hamilton- a reliable player who brings a specific skill set to the team. His three-point efficiency mimics that of departed Kyle Korver and coupled with a knack for defense it is clear to see why Cook is such a huge acquisition for this team. Cook will be able to rest Hamilton -allowing him to avoid injury- while at the same time offering the versatility to allow him to play small forward if coach Tom Thibodeau opts to play small ball.
Imagine in March entering the third quarter of a game and seeing Derrick Rose, Cook, Luol Deng, Taj Gibson and Joakim Noah on the floor. All five of these players are 27 years of age or less. That means that they won’t be tired or worn down and they will continue to attack, which was the fundamental reason that the 2011 bench mob was so successful. The ability of Cook to come in to rest either Hamilton or Deng will be huge for the rest of the season and we may even see him rest Kirk Hinrich when Hinrich transitions to the two-guard.
If you can’t tell by now I am ecstatic about this acquisition. With the Bulls continuing to push through the season amongst injuries, illnesses and general player fatigue, the addition of Cook will be able to address at least the minutes per player per game. I expect Deng to drop out of the first place position in minutes per game and if Coach Thibodeau plays Cook the right way -which he showed he could with Brewer and Korver- I expect him to show an immediate impact for this team.
There is no down side to this acquisition and Bull’s fans should all be as thrilled as I am to have a player like Cook don A Bull’s jersey.