Jack Cooley

Former King Jack Cooley To Play In Italy

Veteran NBA big man Jack Cooley is headed overseas for the 2018/19 season, with Italian club Dinamo Sassari officially announcing a deal with Cooley. It’s a one-year contract, per Sportando.

The move represents a return to Europe for Cooley, who has previously played for teams in Turkey, Germany, and Spain. The former Notre Dame standout also has NBA stints with Utah and Sacramento, having spent the 2017/18 season on a two-way contract with the Kings. Cooley appeared in just seven games for the Kings, but was a key contributor for the Reno Bighorns, Sacramento’s G League affiliate, averaging 17.7 PPG and 9.7 RPG in 39 games.

The Kings opted not to tender a qualifying offer to Cooley last month, making him an unrestricted free agent. The 27-year-old appeared in five Summer League games in Las Vegas for the Suns, but will continue his playing career overseas rather than in the NBA.

Sacramento currently has both of its two-way contract slots open after filling them with Cooley and JaKarr Sampson last season.

Suns Notes: Harrison, Reed, Booker, Cooley

Shaquille Harrison turned up his defense in Las Vegas in a bid for a roster spot, writes Scott Bordow of The Arizona Republic. The 24-year-old averaged 2.7 steals per game to go with a 12.2/4.4/6.0 line in five summer league contests.

Harrison is hoping to earn a role as the third point guard behind Brandon Knight and rookie Elie Okobo, and Bordow believes his fate depends on what other moves the team makes this summer. New coach Igor Kokoskov said he puts “a lot” of value on Harrison’s defensive abilities.

Harrison joined the Suns on a pair of 10-day contracts before signing for the rest of the season in mid-March. A $50K guarantee kicks in August 1 on his $1,378,242 salary for 2018/19.

There’s more news out of Phoenix:

  • Davon Reed, another young guard hoping for a roster spot, also helped his cause in Las Vegas, Bordow adds in the same story. Reed showed no effects of the arthroscopic knee surgery that slowed him last year as he averaged 13.4 PPG and displayed the quickness and athleticism he had before the injury. The Suns have a logjam at shooting guard with Devin Booker established as the starter and Troy Daniels, Mikal Bridges and Josh Jackson all in the mix for backup minutes. Reed has placed himself in a good position to make the roster, tweets John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7, who notes that the Suns extended his guarantee date so they could watch him in summer league.
  • Booker was happy that the Suns elected to give him a max extension this year instead of waiting until he was a restricted free agent next summer, Bordow writes in a separate story. “Like I said Phoenix, the entire organization has been behind me since day one, starting with the draft,” Booker said. “For a team to draft you and take a chance on you means they believe in you. [Owner] Robert Sarver and [GM] Ryan McDonough, I think those guys truly believe in me and it showed with the contract.”
  • Although he’s surrounded by big-name prospects, Jack Cooley has become a summer league fan favorite, relays Kevin Zimmerman of Arizona Sports 98.7. The 27-year-old center was part of the Suns’ entry as he tries to get another shot at the NBA. He played seven games with the Kings last season after being out of the NBA for two years. “There’ve been talks with not just only Phoenix, but there have been a couple other teams that have rediscovered interest that wasn’t previously there,” Cooley said.

Two-Way QO Decisions: Walton, Cooke, Craig, More

Derrick Walton Jr. has received a qualifying offer from the Heat, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel tweets. Walton, who had been on a two-way contract with the Heat, will thus be a restricted free agent next month. The undrafted 6’1” point guard out of Michigan appeared in 16 games with Miami last season.

As is the case for all two-way players who remain eligible to sign another two-way deal, the qualifying offer Walton received from the Heat will be a two-way contract offer with a $50K guarantee.

We have several other qualifying offer decisions involving two-way players to pass along:

  • The Pelicans will not make Charles Cooke a qualifying offer, Michael Scotto of The Athletic tweets. Cooke, an undrafted 6’5” shooting guard out of Dayton, appeared in 13 games for the Pelicans.
  • The Nuggets made a qualifying offer to Torrey Craig, ensuring he’ll be a restricted free agent, Gina Mizell of the Denver Post writes.  The 6’6” Craig saw quite a bit of action with Denver last season, averaging 4.2 PP and 3.3 RPG in 16.1 MPG while making 39 appearances. The 27-year-old went undrafted in 2014, then played in Australia and New Zealand before the Nuggets signed him.
  • The Magic will not make a qualifying offer to Jamel Artis, Sportando tweets. The 6’7” Artis, who went undrafted out of Pittsburgh in 2017, saw action in 15 games and averaged 5.1 PPG, 2.5 RPG and 1.2 APG in 18.6 MPG. Artis will be on the Cavaliers‘ Summer League squad, Dave McMenamin of ESPN tweets.
  • The Kings have issued a qualifying offer to two-way player JaKarr Sampson, per RealGM’s transactions log. No QO is listed for Jack Cooley, Sacramento’s other two-way player, so it’s possible Cooley will reach the market as an unrestricted free agent.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Jack Cooley Signs Two-Way Contract With Kings

JULY 29th, 3:01pm: The signing is official, the team announced.

JULY 22nd, 12:17pm: Free agent power forward Jack Cooley will sign a two-way contract with the Kings, reports Chris Reichert of 2Ways10Days.com (link via Twitter). It will be the first two-way contract offered in franchise history.

Cooley went undrafted in 2013 out of Notre Dame, but has had two 10-day stints with the Jazz, playing limited minutes in 16 career NBA games. The burly Fighting Irish product has also played in 26 G League games over two seasons and holds the league record with 29 rebounds in a game. In 2015, the Cavaliers signed Cooley, only to then waive him in the preseason.

In 2016/17, Cooley played professionally in Germany for MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg after playing the previous season in Spain for Unicaja. In five games for the Kings in the 2017 Las Vegas Summer League, Cooley averaged 9.2 PPG and 6.6 RPG on 64% shooting in just under 18 minutes per contest.

Here is Hoops Rumors’ updated 2017/18 NBA Two-Way Contract Tracker, so you can keep up with the two-way signings.


Jack Cooley Signs To Play In Spain

FRIDAY, 8:28am: The deal is official, the team announced (translation via Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia).

WEDNESDAY, 8:51am: Former Jazz and Cavs big man Jack Cooley has reached agreement to play the remainder of the season with Unicaja Malaga of Spain, reports Adolfo Romero Arana of the Spanish outlet Solobasket. A formal signing is close, according to a HoopsHype translation, and the club is expecting Cooley to put pen to paper shortly, according to a translation from Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia. Unicaja Malaga chose him over former Mavs power forward Maurice Ndour, another big man the team targeted, according to Arana. Cooley signed a contract with the D-League affiliate of the Jazz last month, so he’ll have to pay a buyout of $40-50K to escape that deal, unless the D-League team waives that fee.

Cooley finished last season on the NBA roster for the Jazz, who inked him to a pair of 10-day contracts that preceded a multiyear deal. The 6’9″ power forward from Notre Dame saw action in 16 regular season games, but his playing time was sharply limited, and he posted only 1.7 points in 5.4 minutes per game. His deal didn’t include any guaranteed salary for this season, and the Jazz waived him in mid-October. The 24-year-old hooked on with the Cavs shortly thereafter as Cleveland sought a big man to compensate for Tristan Thompson‘s holdout, but Thompson’s signing shortly before opening night spelled the end for Cooley’s time in Cleveland, and the Cavs cut him before the start of the regular season.

It’s unclear whether the deal for the Pensack Sports Management Group client includes an NBA out, but the path from an overseas team to the NBA is usually more difficult than it is from the D-League to the NBA. It’ll be the second time Cooley will have played in Europe, as he spent 2013/14, his first pro season, with Trabzonspor of Turkey.

Jack Cooley Signs With Jazz D-League Team

Former Jazz big man Jack Cooley has rejoined the team’s D-League affiliate, the farm club announced (hat tip to Adam Johnson of D-League Digest). The Jazz have held his D-League rights since last season, when they allocated him to their D-League team as an affiliate player. The 24-year-old from Notre Dame was last on an NBA roster with the Cavaliers, who picked him up during the preseason in part to offset the holdout of Tristan Thompson, but Thompson re-signed shortly before opening night, prompting Cleveland to waive Cooley.

The one-year NBA veteran is still eligible to sign with any NBA team. The Jazz originally brought him onto their NBA roster in the summer of 2014, a year after he’d gone undrafted out of Notre Dame. They cut him after camp, but after he averaged 16.8 points and 12.5 rebounds in 30.8 minutes per game for the D-League Idaho Stampede, they brought him back after the All-Star break on a pair of 10-day contracts and ultimately a deal that covered the rest of 2014/15, with a non-guaranteed 2015/16 tacked on. Utah cut him during the preseason for a second straight autumn this year before he wound up with the Cavs.

The Jazz have a full NBA roster for now, and so does Cleveland, though both teams have players without fully guaranteed contracts, so they have flexibility if they decide to give Cooley another shot. Teams are allowed to start signing players to 10-day contracts again on January 5th.

Do you think we’ll see Cooley with an NBA team this year? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.

Cavs Waive Cooley, Christmas, Daye, Stephens

The Cavs have released Jack Cooley, Dionte Christmas, Austin Daye and D.J. Stephens, the team announced. All were with the team on non-guaranteed deals. The moves leave Cleveland with 16 players, 14 of whom have full guarantees. Shooting guard and preseason sensation Jared Cunningham along with former Duke point guard Quinn Cook are the remaining non-guaranteed Cavs, though he Cavaliers have reportedly been planning to carry only 14 players for opening night.

Cooley, 24, was a late addition to the Cavs preseason roster after the Jazz cut him loose earlier this month. Cleveland signed him in part to compensate for the absence of Tristan Thompson, as Jake Fischer of SI Now tweeted, but with Thompson finally having re-signed this week, it’s no surprise to see Cooley go, in spite of his impressive rebounding. The big man averaged 4.5 points and 8.0 rebounds in just 12.1 minutes per game over two preseason appearances with the Cavs.

Christmas also signed after the preseason had already begun. The 29-year-old shooting guard nonetheless saw plenty of playing time, averaging 6.8 points in 19.9 minutes per game over four contests.

Daye agreed to join the Cavs last month in an effort to refresh a flagging NBA career. The 27-year-old former 15th overall pick averaged 5.0 points in 11.9 minutes per game in six preseason appearances.

Zach Links of Hoops Rumors reported in early September that Stephens would sign with the Cavs. The high-flying 24-year-old swingman put up 3.3 points in 7.3 minutes per game during his four preseason contests.

Cavs Sign Jack Cooley, Waive Chris Johnson

11:10am: The Cavs made it official and have announced that Cooley has been signed and Johnson has been waived.

9:15am: The Cavaliers have reached a deal with unrestricted free agent power forward Jack Cooley, Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports reports (Twitter link). The details of the agreement are not yet known, but Cleveland is over the luxury tax line and limited to offering just the league minimum. The Cavs currently have 20 players on their roster, and Cleveland will waive Chris Johnson to clear room to ink Cooley, Chris Haynes of The Northeast Ohio Media Group tweets.

Cooley, 24, was in training camp with the Jazz on a non-guaranteed deal, but Utah waived him on Tuesday. The forward made 16 regular season appearances last season for the Jazz, averaging 1.7 points and 1.6 rebounds in 5.4 minutes of action per night. While Cooley provides additional frontcourt depth, Cleveland could be bringing him in as insurance in the event Tristan Thompson‘s holdout is a prolonged one, though that is merely my speculation.

Johnson, 30, went undrafted out of LSU back in 2009, and is not to be confused with swingman Chris Johnson out of Dayton. The Johnson whom the Cavs are cutting last appeared on an NBA regular season roster back in 2012/13, when he made 30 appearances for Minnesota. His career NBA averages are 2.9 points, 1.9 rebounds, and 0.6 blocks to accompany a slash line of .562/.000/.699. He spent the 2014/15 campaign playing in China.

Jazz Waive J.J. O’Brien, Jack Cooley

2:25pm: The moves are official, the team announced.

1:21pm: The Jazz are waiving J.J. O’Brien and Jack Cooley, according to Jody Genessy of the Deseret News (Twitter link). O’Brien has a $75K partial guarantee that Utah will be responsible for if he clears waivers, while Cooley’s pact is non-guaranteed. They’re the first cuts from the Jazz preseason roster, which shrinks to 18 players, including 13 with fully guaranteed salaries, as our roster count shows.

Neither had seen much playing time in preseason, with Cooley scoring a single basket in six and a half minutes of play spread over two games and O’Brien going scoreless in less than two minutes during his one-game cameo. The 6’9,” 24-year-old Cooley was also with the Jazz last season, when he signed a pair of 10-day contracts followed by a multiyear deal, while the 6’7″ O’Brien, 23, went undrafted this June out of San Diego State.

Cooley was also a training camp cut for the Jazz last fall, and he spent much of the season with Utah’s D-League affiliate before rejoining the NBA roster. It wouldn’t be shocking to see him return to the D-League Idaho Stampede or for O’Brien to follow in his footsteps, though that’s just my speculation. NBA teams can retain the D-League rights to as many as four of the players they waive, but Utah doesn’t need to use one of those four spots on Cooley since the Stampede already have his D-League rights.

Today’s moves will leave the Jazz with a five-man battle for two regular season roster spots, assuming Utah carries a full 15-man roster on opening night. Jeff Withey and Treveon Graham, with partial guarantees, are up against non-guaranteed holdovers Bryce Cotton, Chris Johnson and Elijah Millsap. I looked at the battle for regular season roster spots on the Jazz in more detail here.

Who do you think the Jazz will end up keeping for opening night? Leave a comment to tell us.

Northwest Notes: Aldridge, Durant, Contracts

LaMarcus Aldridge feels as though the Blazers didn’t always support him the way they do now, as he explains to Michael Lee of The Washington Post. The soon-to-be free agent, who pledged this past summer to re-sign with the Blazers in the offseason ahead, wonders what it would have been like if he felt they were behind him for his entire career, and if the team still finds him expendable on some level.

“œIt’™s bittersweet,” Aldridge said of his ascendance to a superstar level with the Blazers. “œI think God has a plan for everybody. Maybe my plan wasn’™t to be loved right away. My role was a little tougher than other franchise players, but it happens. I think it helped me build character and not take anything for granted. I know that I had to really earn it, so it makes me appreciative. It also makes me wonder how easily they can move on, too.”

Here’s more from around the Northwest Division:

  • Kevin Durant recently said perhaps his most encouraging words to date for the Thunder regarding his free agency in 2016, but the matter of which team he’ll sign with remains far from decided, observes Ken Berger of CBSSports.com.
  • The three year, minimum salary deals that Chris Johnson and Jack Cooley inked with the Jazz contain no guaranteed salaries beyond this season, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders reports (Twitter link).
  • Tim Frazier‘s two year deal with the Blazers calls for him to make $845,069 for the 2015/16 campaign, and includes no guaranteed salary beyond this season, Pincus tweets.

Eddie Scarito contributed to this post.