MARCH 17: After leading the Sydney Kings to an NBL title, Cooks has officially signed his multiyear contract with the Wizards, the team announced today in a press release.
“We welcome Xavier to the Wizards organization as a very intelligent, high-energy player that will add athleticism to our squad while being a great teammate,” Wizards president/GM Tommy Sheppard said in a statement. “He left a lasting legacy in the NBL to pursue his dream to play in the NBA and we feel he will be an excellent addition now and in the future.”
According to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link), the Wizards used a portion of their mid-level exception to give Cooks a four-year, $6.1MM contract that is fully guaranteed through 2023/24. Cooks’ 2024/25 salary will be non-guaranteed and the Wizards will hold a team option for ’25/26.
MARCH 5: The Wizards have reached an agreement with forward Xavier Cooks that could keep him rostered through the 2023/24 season, his agent Daniel Moldovan informs Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Exact terms of the deal have yet to be divulged.
Woj notes that Cooks, currently playing for the Sydney Kings of Australia’s National Basketball League, is the reigning NBL MVP. Cooks is in the midst of an NBL Finals series with Sydney. Woj adds that the 27-year-old will complete a contract buyout with the Kings and hop stateside once the Finals conclude, either this week or next.
The 6’8″ forward is averaging 16.2 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 4.2 APG, 0.6 BPG and 0.5 SPG for Sydney this season. He boasts shooting splits of .596/.333/.538.
The Australian-born Cooks played college stateside at Winthrop. He went undrafted in 2018, and had his first post-NCAA basketball experience with German club s.Oliver Würzburg in 2018/19 before joining the Kings the following year. He led the Kings to a title in 2022 and was named the NBL Grand Final MVP for his efforts. He has also been named to one All-NBL First Team honoree and one All-NBL Second Team.
As Josh Robbins of The Athletic (Twitter link) notes, current 10-day contract signee Jamaree Bouyea will come off the Wizards’ books by the time the NBL Finals end, opening up a spot on the 15-man roster for Cooks.