Former Iowa basketball player Tyler Cook has not had an easy journey since leaving school, and it appears he is heading to the G-League or overseas.
We’ve been covering Tyler Cook’s journey to the NBA pretty closely since he declared a little over a month ago, and it’s been an interesting path for the Iowa basketball player.
Despite not getting invited to the NBA Combine outright, he managed to earn an invite after his stellar performance in the G-League Elite Combine. Yet, after playing with some of the top prospects in the upcoming 2019 NBA Draft, Cook does not appear to be rising up the ranks of the NBA.
According to CBS Sports, Cook is still the 97th best prospect in the country after the NBA Combine. Considering there are just 60 draft spots in the 2019 NBA Draft, the likelihood of the Iowa basketball team’s leading scorer from the 2018-2019 season getting drafted is pretty slim.
There is a still a chance he wiggles his way into the NBA Draft though, but if he does manage to get in, it pretty unlikely he is going to an NBA roster anytime soon.
The second round of the NBA Draft is a complete mess. I would equate the second round of the NBA Draft comparable to day three of the NFL Draft. There is a low chance of success and in the NBA’s case, there is even more at stake. While they may not have roster spots for those players, they do have the luxury of signing these players to two-way contracts and playing in the G-League or stashing them overseas.
Moreover, there are some NBA Draft hopefuls who choose to not be drafted as was the case with former All-American Jarrod Uthoff. They do this so they can control their own destiny. It’s risky, but it can sometimes pay off. Uthoff managed to get time on an NBA roster his first season averaging 12.8 minutes per game in 9 games his rookie season for the Dallas Mavericks before heading overseas.
What this means for Cook is if he is willing to be sent overseas or sign a less lucrative contract, he could find his way in the second round. He has fantastic athleticism and all it takes is one coach to realize this potential and think they can work with it. Plus, as I said earlier, the NBA Draft is so different from the NFL Draft. There is a bit less focus on what other team are doing in the second round because those players are so unlikely to see playing time on an NBA roster.
A lot can change between now and the NBA Draft that takes place June 20th. Cook will likely be meeting with NBA teams and working out between now and then, and it sounds like he at least has somewhat of an in with one team which could be enough to see him be selected.
However, at this point, it’s looking much more likely that Cook will have to fight his way onto a roster through the Las Vegas Summer League.