Kings reportedly sign Jack Cooley to a two-way contract

The Kings continued their roster building Friday, utilizing one of their two-way contracts on 26-year-old Jack Cooley. The 6-foot-9 big man last played with MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg overseas before appearing in 26 G-League games since.

Now, with the two-way contract in fold, the Kings will be able to switch Cooley between the G-League and NBA without committing to him with one of their original 15 roster spots.

Cooley’s brief G-League stint and recent Summer League stint with the Kings was characterized as a success by many. Albeit undersized at the five spot, his stout frame and excellent effort made him one of the G-League’s most prolific rebounders. You also heard many “MVP” chants from Kings fans during Summer League, which testifies to his relentlessness on both ends of the floor. Summer League head coach, Jason March had nothing but praise for Cooley.

He fights his way into positioning early in plays, and is often able to use his 7-foot-2 wingspan to extend and rack up putbacks on the offensive end while grabbing defensive boards aplenty on the other side. He currently holds the G-League record for most rebounds in a single game with 29.

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Where Cooley fits into the fold in today’s NBA is an unknown. He doesn’t have much in terms of a viable jump shot, while his mobility is limited on the defensive end.

He won’t switch screens well, nor does he have the lateral quickness needed to stay with faster guards or forwards off the bounce. He’s limited mostly to using his length to bother shots at the rim, but even then his athleticism doesn’t fare well in isolation situations.

Offensively, Cooley has nice touch around the basket — but that’s about it. He can hit drop shots around the painted area and finds success as a hard screener in the pick-and-roll, but his game doesn’t extend outside the paint all that often. He has a midrange shot in some capacity, but it rarely manifests itself in game action.

The Kings are getting a role player with a clearly defined niche here. They aren’t going for scoring, nor are they anticipating defensive excellence. Cooley’s job will be to come in and work his tail off on the boards, which is essentially his only path towards relevancy on this roster.

He’ll have an uphill climb with Willie Cauley-Stein, Skal Labissiere and Georgios Papagiannis in front of him, but his hustle makes it a worthwhile investment. There’s no risk with these two-way deals.

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Christopher Kline on Twitter
Christopher Kline
Special Contributor to Cowbell Kingdom. You can follow the rest of his work on The Sixer Sense and 16 Wins A Ring.

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