OAKLAND -- Welcome to the NBA playoffs, Quinn Cook.
Any question about whether the Warriors would add Cook to their postseason roster was clarified Saturday when an MRI test on Stephen Curry’s left knee revealed a Grade 2 MCL sprain.
Curry will be reevaluated in three weeks, which coincides with the beginning of the playoffs. It’s conceivable he will be out six weeks, in which case he would miss the entire first round and, should the Warriors advance, part of the second round.
The Warriors wouldn’t dare go into the playoffs with Shaun Livingston, the primary backup to Curry for four seasons, as the only designated point guard on the roster.
So the defending champs will turn to Cook, who was waived by lowly Atlanta last Oct. 13, four days later signed a two-way contract with the Warriors, and spent most of the past five months toiling away with the G-League Santa Cruz Warriors.
Cook’s value has been rising in recent weeks, though, as he has proved capable of producing at the NBA level. He’s the only member of the Warriors to score in double figures in each of the last five games, averaging 19.8 points, on 55.7-percent shooting, including 50 percent from deep, during that stretch.
He’s not Curry -- nobody is -- but Cook has been a terrific fill-in.
“We all love him,” Kerr said. “He’s a wonderful teammate. He’s not only a hell of a player, but the gets it. He’s a worker. He brings this great life and intelligence to the group, so he’s a big part of what we’re doing.”
Neither Kerr nor general manager Bob Myers has given any indication if they plan to add Cook to the roster. For Cook to be eligible for the postseason, the Warriors must pull him off his two-way deal and sign him to a standard NBA contract by April 11. The playoff roster must be submitted to the league by noon on April 13.
Under no circumstances can Cook be added without one of the 15 players currently under an NBA contact being released.
Meanwhile, Kerr and Myers have given every indication that they love, love, love the way Cook has responded to a need in the absence of Curry.
“He’s been great,” Myers told 95.7 FM The Game this week. “He’s been great all year, with the G-League as well. We actually targeted him as our two-way guys.”
Myers added another line that is significant: “It’s hard to find fault with Quinn as a human being.”
That testimony to Cook’s character matters because the Warriors are big on having players that fit into their culture. Cook, who turned 25 on Friday, has been a seamless fit.
Cook, for his part, credits at least a part of his success to the tutelage of Curry. The two became acquainted back in 2011, when Cook was a freshman at Duke and Seth Curry was a junior. Due to the lockout, the NBA season didn’t start until December, allowing Stephen Curry some time to hang around the college.
“It’s not like you’re always seeking him,” Cook said. “He seeks you. He knows that we all want to learn. He knows that he is where we want to get to, individually.
“When I got here, he took me under his wing. We developed a great relationship before, but now it’s even greater.”
Curry spends time going over game plans with Cook. They talk strategy. It’s an example of Curry’s leadership that he donates himself to a player who was signed mostly to play in the G-League and be available, if needed, for NBA games.
It’s too much to ask Cook to mimic Curry. It’s not too much to believe Cook can help the Warriors in the postseason, even if Curry is healthy.
With Curry out, and Livingston always on a minutes restriction -- any more than the mid-20s is a danger zone -- Cook is essential.