After playing for the Denver Nuggets Summer League squad in Las Vegas last month, power forward Tyler Cook has agreed to a two-way contract with the Nuggets, according to Mike Singer of the Denver Post:
#Nuggets expected to sign Summer League standout Tyler Cook to two-way deal, per league source. Team has track record of converting two-way deals to standard contracts. It’s possible he ultimately competes for 15th spot on roster.— Mike Singer (@msinger) August 13, 2019
Cook averaged 4.0 points and 2.3 rebounds per game in the three games he played with Denver, but he made a strong impression with his attitude, energy, and physicality at the forward position. He rocked the rim with some dunks and has the body to be a solid defensive player in the NBA, provided he continues to showcase his mobility when switching assignments in the pick and roll and slim down just a tad.
Cook played at Iowa for three seasons, starting all but one game he appeared in and improving his rebounding and playmaking production in every season. During his career, he produced 14.1 points and 6.8 rebounds per game, shooting 54.2% from the field. He has skills and can be productive, but while with the Nuggets, he will need to focus on developing the skills that will help him earn minutes in Denver’s system. Floor spacing both behind the arc and in the dunker spot is important, and being smart with the basketball is paramount. Cook will probably spend most of the season in the G League with the focus of developing his game, but if he’s called upon for minutes with the Nuggets, providing ample energy and hustle and finishing around the rim will help him prove he belongs at the next level.
With Cook’s contract, the Nuggets have officially signed 16 players to deals. PJ Dozier’s deal is a training camp contract though, and Bol Bol remains unsigned. That leaves one open roster spot and one open two-way contract. How the Nuggets handle the rest of the offseason and training camp should determine who gets which spot.
Either way, the Nuggets may need a traditional power forward in future seasons. Paul Millsap is on the last year of his contract, Jerami Grant is a versatile forward who lacks size to deal with bulky players, and the rest of Denver’s options are stretch forwards. There’s a place in Denver’s future roster for an option like Cook. Let’s see how he fairs on the two-way contract and if he can earn a full-time roster spot in the future.