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.