Daequan Cook still staying in Oklahoma City, even if he's not playing for OKC

THUNDER – Free agent guard Daequan Cook remains open to the idea of returning to the Oklahoma City Thunder but is caught in lockout limbo.
BY JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Published: September 28, 2011
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The free-agent process hasn't even begun, and won't until the new CBA is reached. When the lockout officially ends, free agency will have high priority and is expected to move very quickly in order the get the season started, much like what happened with the NFL in early August.

Exactly how long the NBA free-agent process will take – and whether or not it will run concurrently with the beginning of training camp – has yet to be decided.

Cook's affinity for the Thunder stretched from coast-to-coast during the off-season:

* Cook did some individual training and shooting drills in the Los Angeles area, where he had a chance to spend time with Thunder guards Russell Westbrook and James Harden.

* Two weeks ago, Cook went to Austin, Texas, for a four-day voluntary camp orchestrated by former University of Texas product Royal Ivey. Nine current Thunder players participated. "Had a great time in Austin," Cook said. "A lot of guys came out. It was very intense."

* On Thursday, Cook will fly to Miami, where he will spend time with Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka, Eric Maynor, Westbrook and Harden.

* From there, Cook will fly to Lexington, Ky., for another Thunder four-day voluntary camp, which was set up by former University of Kentucky player Nazr Mohammed.

* Soon after that, hopefully, the new CBA will be in place, the free-agent process will begin and training camps will commence.

But which training camp will Cook choose?

"No matter what happens, I'm attached to Oklahoma," Cook said. "Oklahoma is great for me."

Cook left after his freshman season at Ohio State and was drafted No. 21 by the Miami Heat in 2007. He was acquired by the Thunder in a trade the day before the 2010 Draft.

As the 2009 Three-Point Shootout champion at All-Star Weekend, Cook's area of expertise is no secret. Durant said he considers Cook to be one of the league's best pure shooters.

Cook took 154 shots from 3-point range last season, and just 27 were from 2-point range. He finished 11th in the league in 3-point shooting (.422), despite a 3-for-18 start and being 10th in the Thunder's rotation.

A Presti factoid: Cook was 10th in the league off the bench last season in terms of points per shot.

John Rohde: 475-3099. John Rohde can be heard Monday-Friday from 6-7 p.m. on The Sports Animal Network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1. Follow him on Twitter @RohdeOK.

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