LOS ANGELES (AP) — Backup guard Quinn Cook has been waived by the Los Angeles Lakers.

The defending NBA champions announced the move Wednesday, shortly before Cook’s contract would have been guaranteed.

Cook averaged 2.1 points while appearing in 16 games this season for the Lakers, who also waived him in November before re-signing him in December.

Cook was a popular locker room presence who was also a backup on last season’s title-winning team, averaging 5.1 points while winning his second NBA championship ring in three years. Before joining the Lakers in 2019, Cook spent two seasons with Golden State.

Cook’s departure opens a second roster spot for the Lakers, whose need for a backup center has seemed obvious lately. Marc Gasol has started 32 games for Los Angeles, and All-Star big man Anthony Davis is out for at least three more weeks with a calf injury.

The Lakers (22-10) are on their first three-game losing streak of the season heading into their game at NBA-leading Utah on Wednesday night.

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