Jack Cooley joined the Sacramento Kings on a two-way contract for this season, but does the team retain him for the next campaign?
Jack Cooley is the type of player that jumps out at you on the court. He may not be the most athletic or be able to bounce out of the gym, but Cooley’s hustle and energy level are unmatched. The big man gives his max effort on every play, and that garners him a ton of respect in my book.
Makes the best of his chance
The Sacramento Kings brought Cooley in to round up their Vegas Summer League roster in 2017. I do not think they have any thoughts of keeping him around, but Cooley played some fantastic basketball over the ten days. You can read his Summer League report card here. It was enough to earn Cooley a two-way contract and a spot with the organization all season.
Cooley continued doing his thing and admittedly played well this season. He helped lead the Reno Bighorns to the playoffs and even played in four games with the Kings. It would not be surprising to see Cooley a little more in the last few games this season. The question becomes is he with the Sacramento Kings next season?
Making the case that Cooley is with the team next year is challenging. He turns 27 on April 12, and he played a total of 43 minutes with the Kings so far this season. Cooley is a fringe NBA talent and a hard worker. Perhaps, Sacramento brings him back as their last man and an example of work ethic for the youngsters. That looks like his best bet to stick with the organization.
The more likely scenario is Cooley heads for greener pastures. He can likely cash the most substantial check by playing overseas next season. If Cooley wants to stick in the NBA, he probably ends up as an out of the rotation bench piece that can play with the G-League affiliate.
Jack Cooley turned in a pleasant surprise for the Kings this season. He played well in Summer League to earn his opportunity before playing a significant role in leading the Bighorns to the playoffs. Cooley seems like the type of player that deserves a more meaningful NBA opportunity. Hopefully, he finds it next season.
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