Iowa Men's Basketball

2-way contract with Nuggets is a great thing for Tyler Cook

Rookie from Iowa has what he wanted: An NBA contract

Iowa forward Tyler Cook (25) drives under pressure from Tennessee forward Kyle Alexander (11) during the Hawkeyes’ overtime loss in the second round of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament on 3.24.19 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (The Gazette)
Iowa forward Tyler Cook (25) drives under pressure from Tennessee forward Kyle Alexander (11) during the Hawkeyes’ overtime loss in the second round of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament on 3.24.19 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (The Gazette)

The news was broken here in June that former Iowa basketball player Tyler Cook had signed a partially guaranteed contract with the NBA’s Denver Nuggets.

That news got better for Cook when the Nuggets announced Monday that they had signed the rookie power forward to a two-way contract.

A two-way contract is a larger foot in the door than a partially guaranteed deal that only assures you a spot in September’s training camp. Each team gets a pair of two-way players in addition to 15 players on their main roster. The two-way guys can spend up to 45 days of the season on the NBA roster, and will be in the NBA G League the rest of the season.

Monte Morris of Iowa State was on a two-way contract with the Nuggets in 2017-18, then played his way onto the main roster last season. Ex-Cyclones Deonte Burton and Georges Niang were on two-way contracts before signing full-time NBA deals. Another former Cyclone, Naz Mitrou-Long, spent last season on a two-way contract with the Utah Jazz, and how has one with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Two-way players make an NBA salary on a pro rata basis with their parent club while also being able to earn his G League salary when with the affiliate team.

Cook’s contract means he’ll get a full training camp with the Nuggets. It means he’ll be playing American pro basketball for an entire season. It means he’ll get a winter to showcase his game to the entire NBA.

Morris, Niang, Burton and Mitrou-Long have made good use of the G League. Now Cook gets the same opportunity entering his first pro season. It’s go-time.

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