With the Las Vegas Summer league starting tomorrow, there will be two Iowa basketball players, Tyler Cook, Jarrod Uthoff, and Peter Jok, playing.
Heading into the summer months, I didn’t expect to be covering Iowa basketball players in the Las Vegas Summer Leauge, but here we are, and there isn’t just one Hawkeye, there’s two.
Jarrod Uthoff will be playing for the Detroit Pistons while Tyler Cook will be playing for the Denver Nuggets after signing with the team after going undrafted in the 2019 NBA Draft.
Uthoff has had stints in the NBA G-League and the actual NBA but spent the past year overseas playing for Zenit Saint Petersburg. Uthoff will be the second oldest player on the Detroit Pistons 28-year old point guard Will Cherry. He is also joined by a familiar face in former Big Ten foe Matt Costello who got beat by Uthoff multiple times while at Michigan State.
Playing time will be tough to come by for the former All-American from the Iowa basketball program. The Pistons lineup is 15 deep and includes 5 players drafted in the past two seasons including Detroit’s 2019 first rounder Seukou Doumbouya.
While I was shocked to see Uthoff on a summer league roster, it is exciting to see him get another shot to show NBA scouts he belongs in the league.
Tyler Cook, on the other hand, shocked me simply because the last known report was that he was injured and wouldn’t be playing in the summer league. Yet, the Nuggets made the announcement yesterday on their Twitter account.
Unlike the Piston’s roster, the Nuggets roster is quite inexperienced featuring only rookies and players with a year of professional experience. The main attraction of the Nuggets will be last year’s first-round draft pick Michael Porter Jr, who plays the same position as Cook.
Cook went undrafted, but the Nuggets believed enough in the former Iowa basketball player to sign him to a deal. If he can put together a solid summer league performance, it could be the momentum he needs to make next year’s roster despite a crowded frontcourt lineup.
Tyler Cook and the Denver Nuggets summer league team will face their first opponent, the Phoenix Suns, Friday evening at 1030 PM. The game will be aired on ESPN.
Peter Jok, meanwhile, is not a surprise addition. After tearing it up with the Northern Arizona Suns his first two seasons in the G-League, he landed with the Orlando Magic summer league team. Jok’s shooting skills are incredible, and it’s a large reason why I think he could land an NBA contract after this summer league and The Basketball Tournament this summer.
With the Magic, Jok will be joined by two Big Ten rookies from Northwestern in Vic Law and Dererk Pardon and the Magic’s summer league team will be tipping off at 10 PM tomorrow evening against the San Antonio Spurs.