The Dallas Mavericks are signing two former college basketball stars, guard Quinn Cook and forward Ben Bentil, to 10-day contracts, according to multiple reports.
Chris Reichert broke the news on Cook’s signing early Saturday, while ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reported later in the evening that the Mavericks would bring in Bentil. Stein said the deals are expected to take place for both to practice Sunday.
Cook, a four-year player at Duke, was the starting point guard on the Blue Devils’ national championship team in 2014-15, highlighted by top-10 draft picks Jahlil Okafor and Justise Winslow.
The 6-foot-2 point guard from Washington D.C. averaged 15.3 points and made nearly 40 percent of his threes his senior year in 2015. Cook was waived by the New Orleans Pelicans on Oct. 22, and his addition comes one day after the Mavericks waived veteran point guard Deron Williams.
Bentil was one of the nation’s most underrated stars, but was overlooked at Providence due to playing behind eventual No. 5 overall pick Kris Dunn. Bentil, who was drafted in the second round by the Boston Celtics last summer, led the Big East Conference with 21.1 points in 34.2 minutes per game last year.
While Dunn was getting the national attention, Bentil’s steady presence was the reason behind many of Providence’s 24 wins, as well as a spot in the NCAA tournament. The 6-foot-8 swingman averaged 23.4 points and nearly eight rebounds in conference play.
He had a 42-point performance last February against Marquette, but his best game was a 31-point, 13-rebound effort in an 82-76 overtime road win against eventual national champion Villanova on Jan. 24, 2016.
Bentil’s signing means more depth on the wing after Dallas shipped Justin Anderson to Philadelphia before Thursday’s trade deadline.
The 10-day contract magic has shown to work for Dallas with Yogi Ferrell, but it’s uncertain if these moves will end in the same result. Cook is a needed body in the backcourt while J.J. Barea nears a return from his calf injury. With Seth Curry continuing to play well, as well as Ferrell holding on to the starting point guard spot, lightning might not strike twice for the Mavericks.
Bentil is the exciting name here. He’s got a solid mid-range game and is a very solid rebounder. In a way, it was sort of shocking to see him go as a late second-round pick. The only concern, which is probably why he fell, is finding the right position for him. He’s too slow to play small forward, but too small to play power forward. His ability to knock down mid-range shots might give him an advantage to be a productive 4 in Dallas, but he’ll need to be a consistent defender to maintain a spot.
Once these signings are official, Dallas will hold seven undrafted players on its roster. That is absurd, yet shockingly amazing.