This Report Card brought to you by Michael Shagrin.
Brian Cook has been one of the more influential characters on the Clippers roster this season. Unlike the positive attributes brought by the offseason acquisitions of Chris Paul and Caron Butler, Cook’s positive output is more in line with the “addition by subtraction” model.
As the first backup big off the bench during the Clippers first five games, Cook averaged around 14 minutes per game. Cook’s rebounding was so devastatingly awful, it prompted future Exec of the Year winner, Neil Olshey, to pick up the league’s most effective rebounder in Reggie Evans.
Since big Reggie couldn’t make up for all of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan’s the bench minutes, Cook probably cajoled Vinny del Negro into another chance at limited playing time. But once the rebounding issue was resolved (the Clippers have propelled themselves from the absolute bottom of the league in boards to the top half), Cook’s non-existent defense became a spectacle. So, recognizing this ineptitude, the Great Olshey picked up the scraps from the Chinese League and signed defensive enforcer Kenyon Martin.
It’s almost as if Brian Cook needed to be negatively efficient (his PER is actually below 0) to spur the Clippers into making the necessary moves to become a contender in the West. If Cook had been serviceable, but not god awful, the Clippers roster would look a lot different today.