Jack Cooley signed a 10-day contract with the Utah Jazz out of the D-League and here is a scouting report on his game:
Situation: Utah has been one of the most active teams this season when it comes to calling up D-League players, but Cooley marks the first time that the Jazz have reached into their new affiliate, the Idaho Stampede, for a coveted Gatorade Call-Up. After going undrafted out of Notre Dame in 2013, Cooley impressed in both the Orlando and Las Vegas Summer Leagues, but didn’t receive an NBA contract and signed to play overseas in Turkey. He spent this year’s training camp with the Jazz, but was waived and acquired by the D-League affiliated Stampede. He missed some time earlier this year with an injured thumb but has been impressive since his return. Cooley has recorded eight double-doubles in his last 10 games and will add depth up front in Utah. The Jazz don’t have any pressing needs at power forward, but with open roster spots, Cooley could see action on his 10-day deal.
Size/Athleticism: Cooley has a solid build at 6-foot-9, 246 pounds. He carves out space down low and has adequate size for the power forward position. Cooley’s size also allows him to excel as a screener. His lack of length and leaping ability, however, hurt him as an NBA prospect.
Ballhandling: Cooley isn’t the type of power forward to create his offense by slashing to the rim or creating off the bounce. He lacks a dribble-drive game, preventing him from facing up.
Shooting: Cooley isn’t a stretch four, as he’s made just 3-of-17 attempts from three-point range and 1-of-7 tries from 16-24 feet. He shows decent form, but hasn’t shot it well in Idaho.
Interior Game: Although nearly all of Cooley’s offense comes from within 8 feet, most of his points come from putbacks or passes from penetrating guards. He shows great hands and a quality hook shot, but he isn’t a polished low post scorer.
Passing: Cooley is averaging just 0.9 assists per game, but seems to make the right pass when needed. He shows unselfishness and the ability to pass out of a double team.
Defense: Cooley is a smart and tough defender that shows good instincts as a help defender. He’s averaging 1.4 blocks per game, but he won’t be a rim protector in the NBA. He shows good strength inside but his average length affects his ability to contest shots.
Rebounding: This is the biggest strength in Cooley’s game. He’s averaging 10.6 rebounds per contest in Idaho as he shows tremendous hustle and energy inside. Cooley gets good positioning, carves out space, and has good instincts on the glass. He’s averaging 4.5 offensive boards in the D-League.
Versatility: Due to his lack of ballhandling and shooting ability as a 6-foot-9 big, Cooley will be a power forward in the NBA.
Final Analysis: Cooley is one of the grittiest, toughest players in the D-League that shines as a rebounder. He may not excel as a scorer, but always finds his way into the scoring column, averaging 15.5 points per game with the Stampede. Cooley is a scrappy power forward that brings great energy to every game and adds an elite attribute with his rebounding.