‘His childhood dream’: Kings star Cooks lands NBA contract
Sydney Kings star Xavier Cooks has signed a two-year deal with the Washington Wizards, realising a years-long ambition to play in the NBA.
The 27-year-old is currently leading the Kings in their NBL championship series clash against the New Zealand Breakers, which Sydney levelled in Auckland on Sunday after losing the first game of the series on Friday.
Xavier Cook lays up against the Taipans last month.Credit:Getty Images
After the championship series, Cooks will join the Wizards for the rest of the NBA season. His new teammates are fighting for a spot in the play-offs.
“I speak for the entire Kings family when I say we are thrilled for Xavier to take this next step to the NBA and realise his childhood dream,” Kings CEO Chris Pongrass said.
“It is difficult to properly articulate the impact X has had on this club. His talent, leadership and innate desire to win completely shifted our trajectory these past four seasons.
“It is obvious that he is an NBA talent and belongs among the best players in the world. We thank X for his contribution to our club – he will forever be a King.”
Xavier Cooks with the NBL Championship trophy.Credit:Getty Images
Cooks signed with the Kings in 2019 after playing professionally in Germany and two stints in the NBA Summer League. In 2022, he signed with the Wellington Saints before re-signing with the Kings on a three-year deal, a contract the Wizards bought out.
Cooks has been the form player of the NBL this season and was named the competition’s MVP after guiding the Kings to a second-straight championship series.
He is averaging 15.32 points and 7.74 rebounds per game and garnered international attention for a poster dunk on Melbourne United’s Isaac Humphries in October.
The 203cm forward’s deal with the Wizards will make him the 11th Australian contracted to an NBA side this season.
Cooks will play for the Kings in the third game of the championship series against the New Zealand Breakers on Friday night.
Sydney won 81-74 on Sunday despite losing Cooks and guard Derrick Walton jnr to leg injuries early on.
The Kings told AAP they expected both to play on Friday.
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